All Else is Folly 1st UK signed by Acland…

23047LROn the 17th April Alan Hewer over at Great War Dust Jackets wrote:

I last saw Acland’s ‘All Else is Folly’ in John Marrin’s Catalogue no.48 where it was priced at £85. I failed to buy it then as I did so many of the wonderful books he managed to find all those years ago. Now of course I’ve had to pay much more but when a book becomes an obsession economic considerations fly out of the window.

I must concur.  We both paid several hundred dollars for our copies of the 1st UK edition, which appeared for sale within a few weeks of each other.  There must be some truth in the adage of things happening in threes, as I found another one this past weekend.  This example has a much better jacket than my own, and I’ve been waffling for the last several days over whether to buy it myself, or to let the rest of you in on the find.  I’ve opted for the later.

The Book Scouts, based in Michigan, have this copy for sale on Biblio for a very reasonable $378.74 US or £256.83.  A direct link to the book’s page at Biblio is here.  (For some reason, the book is considerably more expensive on Abe, so I advise you purchase through the link above).

This is a really good copy and the signature is interesting because of the date beneath it: Aug 1st, 1929.  This is Acland’s wedding anniversary, and the same date as the inscription on my copy (which was presented to Mary Louise Acland, the author’s wife).  What I suspect happened was the publisher sent several copies of the UK edition to Acland while he was in the United States, and close friends and family received copies of the novel’s first edition in print.  Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, for example, was given a 1st American edition, rather than the 1st UK (and Acland had known him since he was a child and would later work for him).  There can’t have been more than a handful of these author’s copies of the first UK edition in existence in 1929, and I suspect today there is only my copy and this one.

As far as I know from my research on Acland, he never returned to the UK after he was sent home in 1917.  So the best chances of finding a signed British edition appear to be locating them in the States, where Acland lived in 1929.

Photos of the book for sale are below, provided by the seller.  If you fancy this copy, I’d get in touch with the seller quickly, as there are only three copies of this edition in academic libraries (SFU, UVic, and L&AC) and I suspect the Robarts Library at the U of T is looking for a copy (as are others).



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