One of my favorite books this year has been Richmal Crompton's Family Roundabout, which I read on vacation at the beach back in July. Persephone brought back Family Roundabout, originally published in 1948, a few years ago; 40 additional Crompton adult novels, written between 1923 and 1960, remain out of print and difficult to come by, particularly in the U.S.
I managed to acquire a copy of Frost at Morning that wasn't too pricey nonetheless, and realized that beyond that I'd have to content myself with an occasional ILL.
Elaine's post last month on her Crompton collection and her link to an article on Crompton prompted me to put in an ILL request sooner rather than later, and I now have--for a very brief time--the one and only U.S. library copy of Richmal Crompton's 1957 novel Blind Man's Buff. I was sure my request would be turned down and I'd have to find a novel that wasn't as scarce as this one before a library would be willing to part with it, so I was quite gratified to find it lying on my desk chair when I went in to work yesterday.
And I was thrilled to open the book and discover Richmal Crompton's signature within.
And on top of that, a quick google told me that Fred Bason, the book's former owner, was no person of inconsequential import himslf. "[B]loody bookworm" Fred Bason sold books, and collected autographs in order to sell them, and published his diaries detailing the process:
Had lunch with John Drinkwater today and he autographed five of his books which I've had in stock three or four years. I put it to him squarely: they "won't sell unsigned, but if you'll autograph them I can sell them in New York next week. Like a good pal he obliged, and a nice lunch thrown in as well . . .
Why do I feel as if I've hit the jackpot?
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