London: Chatto and Windus, 1929. First Impression. Hardcover. First English Edition (appearing a few weeks after the American edition) of this canonical modernist novel. Thick crown 8vo (207 x 124mm): xii,440pp. With the author's note, commenting on the publishers' censorship and explaining the use of asterisks, and considering it "better for the book to appear mutilated than for me to say what I don't believe." Publisher's black cloth, spine lettered in gold, sepia dust wrapper illustrated by Paul Nash and priced 8s / 6d. A presentable example, better than very good, tightly bound and clean throughout; jacket spine panel toned, front panel still vibrant. Kershaw 53. Falls, pp. 261-62. Very Good+ / Near Fine. Item #BB2592
Aldington's scathing take on early twentieth-century British society, openly discussing sex, death, mental health, class and a host of other 'indelicate' issues, which so mortified his publishers that they extensively censored the manuscript (an unexpurgated edition was published in Paris the following year). Orwell called Death of a Hero "much the best of the English war books." It gives a "thorough and solid account of not just the fear and despair, but also the dirt, illness and, above all, boredom and loneliness that soldiers experienced in the trenches, of which Aldington had first-hand experience. The novel has, in fact, an autobiographical basis; it is divided into three parts, with the first two devoted to the protagonist’s coming of age, and only the last part set during World War I. This final part is significant for its disenchanted take on war, stressing not only the physical destruction of the body, but the obliteration of the sense of self and of one’s place in the world." (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.).