London, South Kensington
30 November 2005
NESBIT, Edith. The Phoenix and the Carpet. London: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd., 1926. 8°. Half title, coloured frontispiece, illustrations (occasional light spotting). Original blue cloth decorated in blind and gilt (head of spine torn, extremities lightly rubbed). Eighth impression. Provenance: Vivien Greene (signed in pencil by her on front free endpaper, later ex-libris sticker).
PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION FROM GRAHAM GREENE TO HIS WIFE VIVIEN. The front free endpaper is inscribed, "For my kitten - because she is absurd;/For my puss - because she is cosy;/For my ook - because she is wise;/For my love - because she is lovely./This little present in Gratitude, Love, Adoration, Worship, & Wonder" with a drawing of a star with rays. Probably given to Vivien Greene in 1927 after their marriage: 'ook' was their code word for wife, a star was their code for a kiss and Vivien Greene told Norman Sherry that 'the most passionate kiss on paper would be enormous with rays coming out and dark with ink.' Both Graham and Vivien Greene loved the stories of E. Nesbit in childhood.
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