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GIELGUD, John

Distinguished Company

New York: Doubleday, 1973


8vo, pp. 179. Original black boards, lettered in gilt to spine. Illustrated dustwrapper, photographic portrait of author to front panel. Mustard yellow endpapers. Leading edge uncut.




First US edition, published in the UK the preceding year. JOHN GIELGUD'S COPY, SIGNED BY HIM TO FRONT FREE ENDPAPER AND WITH A PAGE OF HANDWRITTEN CORRECTIONS ON HIS PERSONAL NOTEPAPER LAID IN, AND WITH CORRESPONDING CORRECTIONS TO THE TEXT.

Gielgud's third volume of memoirs after Early Stages (Macmillan, 1939) and Stage Directions (Heinemann, 1963), and which was first published by Heinemann in 1972. In Distinguished Company, Gielgud offers up profiles of many of those he had known and worked with over a (by then) fifty-year career, among them Ellen Terry, Edward Gordon Craig, Gertrude Lawrence, Charles Laughton and many others. But he was clearly unhappy with the American edition of the book, particularly the positioning of the many photographs. In his handwritten notes, amid cavils about commas and the correction of 'Venice' to 'Vence' (all of which are correspondingly corrected by hand), Gielgud proposes extensive rearrangement of the illustrations. One such entry reads (in part): 'p.36A. Jane Cowl and Barrymore photos and notes should be in the American chapter if possible. L. Braithwaite in her own chapter, with Mrs. Pat[rick Campbell] and Lady Tree. Vivien Leigh photo is not really in the right place either...'.

A reminder that Gielgud was a director as well as an actor. A unique copy.
£495.00


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