London: William Heinemann [through 1959], 1956. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impressions of the author's first published fiction. Crown 8vo (196 x 128mm): ,214; ,221,; ,237,pp. Original publisher's French blue (first and third installments) and navy blue cloth, spines lettered in gold or silver; illustrated dust jackets by R. F. Micklewright and John Rowland, priced 13s / 6d and15s. Tiger: lightly faded to spine and spine panel, dust-soiled top edge, about Fine. Enemy: bookstore ink stamp to fly leaf, else Fine. Beds: very tightly bound, apparently unread. A gorgeous set. Fine- / Fine-. Item #BB2173
In 1954, Burgess left England for Malaya as an education commissioner in the British Colonial Service. The Long Day Wanes, his early trilogy, uses the experiences of a young British teacher to illustrate the decline of British imperial prestige and the conflicts between European values and local traditions and practices. "The trilogy is remarkable for its portrayal of the cultural melange of Malaya in the years immediately before independence. Burgess avoids the trap of portraying the colony solely from the colonist's point of view, and offers instead an informed, insider's impression of the final days of British rule in Malaya, interwoven with the lives of a large cast of colonials, Tamils and Chinese, that is remarkable both in terms of its authenticity and its narrative skill." (Literary Encyclopedia) The Long Day Wanes, the trilogy's American title, chosen by Burgess, is taken from Tennyson's poem Ulysses: "The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks: / The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep / Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, / 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world." 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.).