THE LIFE OF CESARE BORGIA [inscribed]. Rafael Sabatini.


[inscribed by Sabatini] A History and Some Criticisms. With a Coloured Frontispiece and Sixteen Other Illustrations in Half-tone. London: Stanley Paul & Co., n.d.[1912]. 32 pp ads, undated (but with this title listed second in the list of new announcements, and with 1910 and 1911 cited elsewhere). Original black cloth lettered in gilt, with dust jacket.

First Edition of this very early historical work by Sabatini, about a decade before he hit it big with "swashbuckling" tales such as SCARAMOUCHE and CAPTAIN BLOOD. Born of an Italian father and an English mother, and educated in Portugal and Switzerland, Sabatini (1875-1950) was fluent in five languages by the time he was eighteen; he would soon have a position in the Intelligence Department of the War Office during the Great War.

The Sabatini website cites a 48-page ad catalogue, but we think it is quite possible that this catalogue may precede: the only dates appearing in this catalogue are 1910 and 1911, and the inscription (below) is dated January 1912 (the month of publication). This is a near-fine copy, the only real flaw being some small holes in the cloth at the joints (one fore-corner also shows some wear); included is the 1912 dust jacket (red printed in black), in good-to-very good condition (a large chip at the bottom of the front panel, other minor edge-wear but nothing affecting print, spine slightly faded).

THIS IS AN INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY, with the author's ink inscription on the title verso "To Herbert Jarman from Rafael Sabatini London 17 Jany 1912". Jarman was an actor and occasional assistant producer on the London stage -- for example, not long before this inscription, Jarman had starred as Louis XIII in the 1911 stage production of "Bardelys the Magnificent," adapted by Sabatini and Henry Hamilton from Sabatini's 1906 novel of the same title (our thanks to Sabatini biographer Ruth Heredia for this information). This early Sabatini title is scarce; in dust jacket it is very scarce; and inscribed it is extremely scarce. Item #13505

Price: $850.00

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