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The Golden Arrow. 1916 First Edition. Henry Webb’s copy

  1. 00020884_0001

Mary Webb. The Golden Arrow. London: Constable & Company Ltd., 1916. First edition. A dedication copy, inscribed on front pastedown: “Given to me by Mary / on publication in / August, 1916. / H B L Webb.” The printed dedication reads: “To a noble lover H. L. W.” Homesick for her native Shropshire, newly-married Mary Webb pondered the plot line of The Golden Arrow for many months while living in the Bristol coastal town of Weston-super-Mare, where the Webbs had moved for Henry’s teaching position. Mary wrote by a process of lengthy mental invention, construction, and revision, followed by rapid, inspirational composition. Henry told early biographers that, upon their return to Shropshire, Mary had completed the first draft of The Golden Arrow in three weeks and wrote with little revision or editing. “At such times of spontaneous composition, of sudden quickening, there was no distinction between her living self and her writing self, her conscious and unconscious, integrated in creative wholeness” (Coles, The Flower of Light, 1978, p. 140). With the bookplate of Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr.