The Swoop! Or How Clarence Saved England

London: Alston Rivers, 1909

Small 8vo, pp. 122, 4 pp. advertisements bound in at rear. Original illustrated stiff paper wrappers. Housed in a red folding box, title in gilt to spine. Corners a trifle bumped, rear endpaper a little dusty, two small pieces of clear tape to ffep. strengthening join with spine. Ffep. also bears an early ownership inscription. Otherwise a much better than very good copy.

First edition.

'There was once a millionaire who, having devoted a long life to an unceasing struggle to amass his millions, looked up from his death-bed and said plaintively, 'And now, perhaps, someone will kindly tell me what it's all been about.' I get that feeling sometimes, looking back. Couldn't I, I ask myself, have skipped one or two of these works of mine and gone off and played golf without doing English literature any irreparable harm? Take, for instance, that book The Swoop, which was one of the paper-covered shilling books so prevalent around 1909. I wrote the whole 25,000 words of it in five days, and the people who read it, if placed end to end, would have reached from Hyde Park Corner to about the top of Arlington Street. Was it worth the trouble?

Yes, I think so, for I had a great deal of fun writing it.' (Over Seventy)

A rare Wodehousian foray into satire, this lampoon of imperialism and Empire is one of his scarcest titles in first edition. This is partly because of its extreme fragility. This copy, two small and unobtrusive pieces of tape to the front free endpaper notwithstanding, is in very nice condition, the spine complete, and with no chips or tears to the wrappers.

A remarkable survivor, in remarkable nick.

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