[inscribed by Curle] 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 Scotsman who was a 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 very good-plus copy (some soil on the front cover).
This is a "multiple" inscribed presentation copy signed by Richard Curle. In fact it is inscribed FOUR TIMES by Curle -- once signed and thrice initialed. The earliest one, initialed "R.C." (on the front free endpaper), is scarcely visible, because Curle later tried to bleach it out (?) in order to inscribe it as described below. Written in ink on top of that inscription is "Miss Rewarvan Anirkhavian (?) with very many thanks for her work in typing the catalogue. [signed] Richard Curle | July 1929". Curle then added, at the bottom of the same leaf, "This, being the English edition, is not so easy to get here, but it's the right one to have. So please forgive a former name on this page. R.C." And finally, on the opposing paste-down, Curle later added in a different ink: "But now it suddenly occurs that perhaps the Eng. & Am. editions were quite similar: I must find out -- it's too late to worry anyhow! R.C."
We cannot locate any reference to the recipient, but the "catalogue" Curle refers to was most likely the catalogue of his own 234-item Joseph Conrad collection (including manuscript material and many inscribed copies), which was auctioned at The American Art Association on 28 April 1927. Item #14356