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Precious Bane. 1924 First Edition. Inscribed to Thomas Hardy.

  1. 00020899_0001
  2. 00020899_0002
  3. B133_0003

Mary Webb. Precious Bane. London: Jonathan Cape Ltd., 1924. First edition. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: “To Mr. Thomas Hardy / from the authoress. / Sep: 1924.”


Mary Webb. Tipped-in autograph letter-card signed, November 19, 1923, to Thomas Hardy. Webb writes that she has seen a notice that Hardy is to produce one of his plays in Dorchester. She says: “And I thought how lovely it would be if my husband & I could come over to Dorchester for the day when it is produced, if the public are allowed to see it. . . . It would be an ecstatic delight to me to see Mr. Hardy for the first time in his own immortalised country, & at his own play.” The Sotheby’s auction catalogue for November 6, 2001 states that this presentation copy and the dedication copy of Seven for a Secret were given to Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr. in 1937 by Hardy’s widow, Mrs. Florence Hardy, in appreciation of his visit to her in 1935. Laid in is a penciled note from Adams reading: “The first performance of The Queen of Cornwall was scheduled for Dorchester 28 November 1923. There is no indication of an answer to this letter [i.e. Webb’s letter card to Hardy] but I found it pasted in to Precious Bane when the volume arrived.”