A Prefect's Uncle

London: A. & C. Black, 1903

8vo, pp. 264. Original red pictorial boards, lettered in gilt and pale blue to front panel, and in red-on-gilt and gilt to spine. Very slightly cocked, light fading to spine, offsetting to endpapers, and minimal bumping to head of spine and corners, but a near fine copy for all that.

First edition, first issue of the author's second book, dedicated to Wodehouse's old school friend and lifelong correspondent, William (Bill) Townend.

'I have finished a school story of almost exactly the same length as The Pothunters, and can forward it immediately if you wish it. The title of the book is The Bishop's Uncle [later The Prefect's Uncle] and like The Pothunters it deals chiefly with the outdoor life of the public school. There is a great deal of cricket in the book, in fact, strictly speaking, it is nearly all cricket, for very little else except that game goes on in the Summer Term at school.' (PGW to publishers A&C Black, 8 December, 1902)

Wodehouse's early school stories weren't just bought and shelved, they were read. And not just read but reread by schoolboys of all ages who were starting to seek them out. It's not surprising, then, that condition is often a problem with Wodehouse's early books. This copy, near fine with the binding tight, bucks that trend.

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