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The Phoenix Cup signed presentation copy by John Morris first edition 1947

The Phoenix Cup signed presentation copy by John Morris first edition 1947


London: The Cresset Press, 1947


8vo., red publisher’s cloth, titles gilt to spine and upper board; preserved in the pictorial dust jacket (12/6 net); pp. [iv], v-x, [ii], 3-224, [ii]; with frontis and a further 14 black and white photographs of various scenes around Japan; a very good copy, slight dulling to title and small damp mark to lower corner of both boards, causing minor discolouration to the cloth; a couple of small spots internally, the jacket slightly browned along backstrip, with minor shelf wear, marking, and nicking; also very good. 


First edition. A handsome presentation copy, inscribed to Sir Philip Gibbs: “To Sir 

Philip Gibbs - from a life-long admirer of ‘The Street of Adventure’ - John Morris 27.7.57 '' Also loosely tipped-in is a letter, presumably sent at the same time, from Morris to Gibbs. Written on Broadcasting House headed newspaper (although sent from his home address as written below) Morris refers ro a lunch that they spent together, in which they would have likely conversed about their experiences during the war. He writes: “I thought you might perhaps be interested in this (now, of course, out of date) account of Japan as I saw it at the end of the war.”


John Morris (1895-1980) was an anthropologist, mountaineer and journalist who served in the trenches in WWI, and made two attempts to climb Everest. Later, he taught English in Japan, and became an advisor on the English language to Japan’s department of Current Affairs. During the Second World War, he was in charge of broadcasting to the Far East, and this account of Japan - its people, cities, temples and gardens - is unique in its perspective of a country recovering from the devastation of war. Despite, then, being a series of traveler’s notes, it is a candid and honest account, which “does not claim to be anything more than a portrait of Japan in 1946”. The Phoenix Cup was his second work on Japan, following the success of Traveller from Tokyo. (1943). 


Philip Gibbs (1877-1962) was a British journalist and writer who served as one of five official reporters on the Western Front during WWII. His first article was published in 1894, and he went on to hold the post of literary editor at the Daily Mail, as well as working for several other newspapers including the Daily Express. The Street of Adventure was his first attempt at fiction, and was adapted into film in 1921. 

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