London: Hutchinson / Jonathan Cape [through 1964], 1960. First Edition. Hardcover. Three First Impressions of O'Brien's momentous debut, banned in Ireland because of sexual content. Crown 8vo (191 x 126mm and 188 x 122mm): 224; 254; 190pp. Country Girls (Hutchinson, 1960): Publisher's black cloth, spine lettered in gilt within sky-blue title block; price-clipped dust jacket illustrated by Jillian Willett. About Fine (lightly speckled top edge, neat ownership inscription to front fly leaf); Near Fine or better jacket, clean and crisp with small chip to back panel not affecting lettering or photograph. Lonely Girl (Cape, 1962): Publisher's mauve cloth, spine lettered in gold, top edge stained aquamarine; illustrated dust jacket by Hofbauer and priced 16s. Fine, square, very tightly bound and clean throughout; fresh and bright jacket. Married Bliss (Cape, 1964): Publisher's French blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt, top edge stained navy blue; price-clipped illustrated dust jacket by David Fawcett. Very Fine and unread, virtually pristine; about Fine jacket (front panel nicked to top edge). A spectacular set. Fine / Fine-. Item #BB2093
O'Brien's trilogy "charts the progress of two young Irish girls, Kate and Baba, as they escape their rural home place for the relative cosmopolitanism of Dublin. It is no accident that, in the first novel, a turning point in Kate's development is marked by her acquiring a copy of Joyce's Dubliners [Joyce was hugely influential in O'Brien's writing life, and in 1999 she wrote a biography of him ]. . . . When asked late in his life if he would ever return to Ireland, Joyce gave the famously enigmatic reply, 'Have I ever left it?', and Edna O'Brien's relationship with her home country is complicated in ways that are similarly fraught and complex." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).