RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
22 January 2007
Lawrence Durrell. Justine.1957
Lawrence Durrell. JUSTINE. Faber, 1957.
Current Selling Prices
$600-$1200? /£300-£600? Want level 25-50 Highish
MODERN FIRST EDITION
Durrell is not as saleable as he was, say, last century - like Robert Graves, Richard Aldington and even that grand man Norman Douglas these expat Brit writers & lovers of the Med are now financially somewhat in abeyance. But Justine, the first book of his Alexandria Quartet, is always going to be a difficult book to find. A surprising book in 1957, unashamedly lush and pretentious with references to French decadence, hashish, Cavafy etc., Sounds great on tape on a long journey; a little adolescent in its appeal, it has been called 'a superior kind of travel writing.' The yellow jacket often gets soiled or browned, fine copies are thin on the ground. The title alludes to the Marquis de Sade's 1791 novel of the same name; Sade's book, considerably more valuable, also appears on wants list but there are probably ten times as many punters for Durrell's oeuvre.
VALUE? There are very few copies around -- it occasionally shows up in very nice nick at less than 500 quid ($1000) and there is a copy at $4000 on ABE right now which is something of a 'dream on' price but while it sits there will make cheaper, but still overpriced, copies look reasonable.