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Saturday Night & Sunday Morning Signed by Alan Sillitoe first edition 1958

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning Signed by Alan Sillitoe first edition 1958



Saturday Night & Sunday Morning 

London: W. H. Allen, 1958


8vo., brick-red publisher’s boards, spine lettered in gilt with publisher’s device to foot; illustrative dust jacket printed in black, white and red (13s. 6d. net) designed by Mona Moore; pp. [vii], 8-213, [iii]; a near-fine copy, a couple of spots to outer edge and prelims, with light corner creasing to the first few pages, and very mildly pushed to spine tips; with previous ownership name in blue biro to ffep; in the unclipped dust jacket which has a couple of very small nicks and chips to spine tips and edges of folds; one slightly longer closed tear running horizontally to the rear panel (3.5cm approx); retaining all of its brightness to front panel and spine; very good. 


First edition, boldly signed in black by the author to the title page. The author’s debut novel, which won the Author’s Club First Novel Award. 


A story of two parts, the second being substantially shorter than the first. The focus is the protagonist, Arthur Seaton, an anti-authoritarian factory worker who lives for the weekend, a time in which he can escape the oppression from his working life. Based on the author’s own grim experiences, the novel was “a plea for the younger generation of Brits to break the bonds that restricted them to predictable and unfulfilling lives.” It was during a conversation with Robert Graves, in which the poet  suggested he write about the place he knew best - Nottingham - that Sillitoe eventually put pen to paper. Saturday Night & Sunday Morning was later adapted into film, starring Ian McKellen in one of his first leading roles. 


Born in 1917, Mona Moore was a prolific illustrator of dust jackets throughout the 20th century. Trained at St Martin’s school of art, she was commissioned by Kenneth Clark (then director of the National Gallery), to record the changes in British Lives and Landscapes throughout the Second World War. Using predominantly lithography and watercolour, Moore produced paintings of the Women’s Land Army and the aftermath of the Swansea Blitz (during which time it was discovered she had inadvertently been sketching while sitting atop an unexploded bomb). She was also arrested by the RAF while recording another scene. Moore went on to produce designs for several periodicals, including Radio Times and Good Housekeeping, and she later produced the dust jacket design for Sillitoe’s short story collection, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, in 1959.   


Genuinely rare in this condition, particularly so with the jacket so intact.

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