London: Hodder and Stoughton [through 1968], 1966. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impressions of Delderfield's two-volume elegy for the traditional, pastoral society blown apart by the First World War. Thick 8vo: 1151; 475,pp. Horseman: Publisher's forest green cloth, spine stamped in gold, map end papers; dust jacket with wraparound illustration by Brian Lubrani, priced 42s. Fine, tight and square; about Fine jacket (bottom front flap corner creased). Gauntlet: Publisher's scarlet cloth, spine lettered in gold within brown title block, genealogical end papers; dust jacket with wraparound illustration by Brian Sanders, priced 35s. Fine, tight and square; about Fine jacket (top front flap corner repaired, not affecting lettering). A superlative set. Fine / Fine-. Item #BB1751
Delderfield wrote panoramic multigenerational family sagas that were perhaps more popular in America than in Britain. A Horseman Riding By, concerned with the fortunes of a Devon family, begins in 1902 at the tail end of the Boer War and is continued in its sequel, The Green Gauntlet, to end in the summer of 1965. In an appreciation, The Guardian wondered why "posterity has been cruel to Delderfield. It's hard to say precisely why near contemporaries such as George Orwell and Anthony Powell (to give just two instances), who Delderfield certainly outsold in his lifetime, should since have outstripped him." The reason, the article recognizes, are manifold. "There's only so much world and time after all, and only so much we can be expected to read. All the same, I can't help feeling as if we're losing something. . . . [B]y ignoring the writers that defined a previous generation, we sever yet another link with our elders." (11 April 2007) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene 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.).