Just arrived today (and wedged into my mailbox with the sort of contempt only Canada Post can muster; no ill effects to report, other than to my blood-pressure).
Philip Child’s first two novels, The Village of Souls (1933) and God’s Sparrows (1937) were both published by Thornton Butterworth in the UK, and neither saw publication here until Ryerson republished Souls in 1948 & McClelland & Stewart issued a NCL paperback of Sparrows in 1978.
This is probably the least inspired of the illustrated dust jackets from the period, and certainly cannot compare with either Acland’s All Else is Folly or the marvelous jacket for Dent’s Show Me Death! Still, it’s beginning to grow on me.
And just because I’m fond of doing so, the inside flaps:
Finding a copy of God’s Sparrows in dust jacket, especially one as good as this, is a difficult task. I’ve been hunting for awhile now, and this one turned up online for the princely sum of $35.oo. One of the wonderful things about there being no copies of a given title for sale anywhere online (particularly on ABE) means that sellers don’t get swept up in ridiculous valuations. This was a very good buy, but I really don’t think there’s a huge market for Child first editions, even when they’re destined to become part of a larger collection of Canadian WWI literature. Similarly, I found a first edition of Village of Souls in a lovely jacket, but the seller wanted £75.oo for it. I’ve offered him £25.oo and the rejoinder, ‘who else is going to buy it?’ He’s having a think. I’ll post it when I eventually pick it up.
A lovely bonus to this copy was a Christmas card tucked inside. It seems wrong to be posting such things when we’re breaking heat-records in Vancouver, but…