A Passion Before Death signed by James Hanley 1st / 1st 1930
First and only edition privately printed in 1930. This is 1 of only 200 copies and is signed by James Hanley to the front of the book. This is copy number 129. It is in near fine condition. There is some browning to the front free end paper and to the last page. Otherwise the pages are very clean. The binding has some very light browning to the edges. Overall a very presentable near fine copy.
This is the Irish author's 3rd publication, a novella, written just before his much more widely known novel Boy. It is about a man in prison for killing the rapist of his wife on their wedding night. The man has been pronounced guilty and will hang the next day. At the end, feeling his humanity, one of the male guards gets into bed with him. This first edition of only 200 copies was privately printed as it was seen as impossible to release the story publicly due to censorship laws. The publisher was more daring marketing his next novel Boy which led to a lengthy censorship trial, one which they lost and was not legally resolved until 1968, more than a generation later.