London, South Kensington
4 May 2006
J. M. BARRIE
The Allahakbarrie Book of Broadway Cricket
[N.p., privately printed, 1899]. Small 4to., illustrations, some full-page, original limp Japanese vellum wrappers, front wrapper with title printed in gold, red morocco-backed slipcase. PRESENTATION COPY "To W. Mitchell from J.M. Barrie Xmas 1899" (inscription on title). Sale: Tennants, Leyburn, North Yorkshire, 11 November 1999, lot 138.
FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION WITH SIGNED PRESENTATION INSCRIPTION. Barrie's team of authors and artists was founded in 1887 after he had stopped to watch a village cricket match at Shere, a hamlet near Guildford, where the cricketers were evidently old crocks. According to his own account in The Greenwood Hat, "Allahakbar" was African for "Heaven help us". His uncoached team therefore became the "'Allahakbars', aftewards changed with complimentary intention to Allahakbarries" (see Janet Dunbar, J.M. Barrie, 1970, p. 111; also Philip Carr's introduction to the 1950 edition). Later in life, Barrie told Ashley-Cooper he was unable to remember how many copies of his Broadway book had been printed, but they were presumably only for team members. Taylor p. 28: "one of the few books that I have never yet met with"; Padwick 1296.
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