Innocence and Design

[BYRON, Robert & SYKES, Christopher] / WAUGHBURTON, Richard

[BYRON, Robert & SYKES, Christopher] Innocence and Design

Macmillan, 1935.

First edition. Original green embossed cloth with gilt titles in (supplied) dustwrapper designed by Sykes. Authors' presentation copy, inscribed on the front end paper by both authors to Diane and Robert Abdy. From Robert Byron, "To Diane and Bertie from Richard Waughburton 4 July 1935", and from Christopher Sykes, "With many thanks for loan of character, though everyone thinks it's Sachie." Illustrated throughout in line by Sykes. A very good copy, with a little wear to the spine ends and back panel, in a very good dustwrapper indeed, which shows a little wear to the corners.

A fine association. Sir Robert Adby was close friends with Byron and Sykes and their circle including Evelyn Waugh, Nancy Mitford, and Gertrude Stein.
The principal character of the novel, Sir Constantine Bruce, is based on Abdy, as Sykes alludes to in his presentation inscription. He is described as "a man of keen aesthetic sensibility . . . disinclined, in fact positively unable to live in ugliness", rather like Adby who was an antique collector who sought to surround himself with beautiful objects. Bruce, like Adby, has a keen interest in architecture and journeys to the Middle-East in search of the Moslem principals of chromatic architecture which he plans to use in his redesign of his Scottish estate. Comedy ensues as Bruce's naivety embroils him with the Military Intelligence.
Byron and Sykes wrote the book whilst in Persia (Byron gathering material for The Road to Oxiana), and one can see strains of Sykes in the horseplay passages interspersed with essays by Byron on Islamic architecture and Persian national character.
Presentation copies by Robert Byron are rarely encountered in commerce.

Stock ID: 31260

£2,250.00

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