RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
12 February 2007
Peter West. D.E. Stevenson. 1923
Back in the USA for the bookfair in San Francisco. This book is an enigma, although one sees D.E. Stevenson's books around (that's her left.) Can't do highspots all the time, although I will tackle the case of Philip Pullman and his flattening prices this week, also maybe the case of Clive Staples Lewis and his valuable Narnia books. Odd bedfellows.
D.E. Stevenson. PETER WEST. Chambers, London 1923.
Current Selling Prices
$350-$700? /£180-£350? Want level 25-50 Highish
270 page novel apparently with fantasy elements. Bleiler and Locke only note her 1936 novel 'The Empty World: A Romance of the Future: ' (in USA 'A World in Spell') . It is in Bleiler under the code 'uU8' which translates as Catastrophes / Future Primitivism. It was set in 1973, the year of her death. 'Peter West' is the first of over 40 novels by the popular writer. Her sister married into the Chambers publishing family, and Ms Stevenson got this novel serialized in 'The Chambers Journal', and published by them in book form in 1923, but it wasn’t a success. Dorothy Emily Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1892, she was related to Robert Louis Stevenson, who was her father's first cousin.She was 24 when she married Captain James Reid Peploe of the 6th Gurkha Rifles in 1916. Created the immortal characters Mrs Tim and Miss Buncle published by Herbert Jenkins. Can find nothing on 'Peter West' except that it is much wanted and highly elusive. However there has to be a ceiling on the value, this isn't Beatrix, or even Harry, Potter. No copies on web, no catalogue entries, nada.
VALUE? Generally not a big money author, but steady. Someone is asking over £800 for an inscribed copy of her first book - a work of poetry entitled 'Meadow Flowers'. This price seems un peu steep for a popular romance writer as they do not tend to inspire the sort of waving of credit cards or check books you might get with a thriller or horror writer. However it is not unthinkable that at least one punter might step forward for this novel at 400 dollars even pounds and more than one if it were wearing a bright jacket. Pure speculation. Her one SF novel The Empty World (see above) gets listed by Currey without jacket at $250.