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The Spanish Farm Trilogy by R.H. Mottram first editions 1924-26

The Spanish Farm Trilogy by R.H. Mottram first editions 1924-26



The Spanish Farm Trilogy: The Spanish Farm; Sixty-Four, Ninety-Four!; The Crime at Vanderlynden’s

London: Chatto & Windus, 1924-6 


8vo.., 3 vols., publisher’s red cloth gilt to spines; with top edges stained red; all complete in the illustrative dust jackets, with Vivien Gribble providing the cover image to Vol I; printed in black and red, priced to spines; pp. [viii], ix-xi, [iii], 3-233, [vii, ads.]; [iv], v-vii, [i], 300, [viii, ads.]; [iv], 219, [i]; very good copies all, with a few bumps to extremities, endleaves and half titles offset; slight lean to Vol II; Vol III a little more spotted to outer edges and prelims; with original publisher’s advertisement leaflet loosely laid-in to Vol I; the jackets for the most part very good, Vol I close to near-fine, with some light browning, creasing and chipping; some of the panels a little more soiled, with some nicks, Vols II and III a little more chipped to spine tips; Provenance: Book-plate of the book collector Joseph Fisher Loewi to front paste-down of Vol I. 


First editions all, on the subject of the Great War. 


Mottram was raised in Norwich, and may perhaps have not considered a career in writing had it not been for a chance meeting with the writer Ada Galsworthy, who encouraged him to publish his first two collections of poetry. Mottram remained close friends of Ada and her husband John (who went on to win the 1932 Nobel Prize for Literature) for the remainder of his life, and he later penned personal portraits of the couple. Though his first offerings were published under a pseudonym ‘J. Marjoram’, Mottram went on to become a popular war poet, inspired by his experiences on the Western Front. 


Returning from the war, Mottram returned to his job at Gurney’s bank, however he continued to write in his spare time. His Spanish Farm trilogy won the Hawthornden Prize in 1924, for which he received a substantial sum of money. The Preface is provided by John Galsworthy, who praises it thus: “I suppose you would call this a war book, but it is unlike any other war book that I, at least, have met with. Its defined and realized scope, its fidelity and entire freedom from meretricity make it a singularly individual piece of work”. The novels follow the experiences of Madeline, a french woman who experiences her father’s farm being turned into home for hundreds of soldiers who have experienced the horrors of the Western Front. 


Genuinely rare as a complete set, especially so in the jackets.

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