[inscribed + letters from Curle] Notes on Burma and Malaya. With a Preface by Joseph Conrad. London: Macmillan and Co., 1923. Original mottled red cloth lettered in gilt.
First Edition of this volume of travel notes on what were then called Burma and Malaya, by this good friend of Joseph Conrad. Conrad, whose first two books were sited in the same area, and who had frequently sailed there as a seaman, provided the 17-page Preface. The two had met in 1912, as part of Edward Garnett's circle, and two years later Curle had written the very first book-length "appreciation" of Conrad; later Curle was the dedicatee of Conrad's THE ARROW OF GOLD. (Curle was present at Conrad's home on the day of JC's death in 1924, and was subsequently co-executor of Conrad's literary estate.) This is a fine copy.~This is the inscribed presentation copy to Crosby Gaige, who in the late 1920s was a publisher of fine-press books (in 1928 he would publish Joseph Conrad's "The Sisters," as well as the volume of Letters from Joseph Conrad to Richard Curle); Gaige went on to become a theatrical producer and general man-about-town in 1930s New York. The inscription on the front endpaper reads: "Crosby Gaige from Richard Curle January 1927 (This copy belongs to the first issue -- there is only 1 edition -- of the book, with the dropped letters on p. x. Very few of these exist, as nearly all copies have a cancel leaf. There is also a large-paper edition, long since out of print. R.C.)".~Also included, in addition to a brief 1926 letter of introduction on S.S. Majestic stationery, are two additional letters from Curle to Gaige. One is dated 28 December 1926 starting off "The chances of my Conrads remaining here many days longer is remote, so I am wondering whether you and Mrs Gaige could come round here tomorrow evening to have a look at them...". The other (typewritten) dated 3 January 1927, which accompanied the gift of this very book to Gaige, has a handwritten after-note saying "The Conrad collection has gone this morning!"; Curle's Conrad collection would be auctioned at The American Art Association on 28 April of that year. Item #13488