The North Ship

LARKIN, Philip

LARKIN'S FIRST BOOK INSCRIBED TO NICK RUSSEL

LARKIN, Philip The North Ship

The Fortune Press, 1945.

First edition. Original black cloth lettered in gilt in maroon dustwrapper printed in black. Inscribed by Larkin to Nick Russel on the front free endpaper "To Nick, with all good wishes - Philip Larkin 1945." A very good copy in a worn dustwrapper, lacking most of its spine with a further tear and small chips to the corners.

An exceptional association copy of Larkin's rare first book. Nick Russel was a very close friend of Larkin's and a fellow member of the Oxford set known as 'The Seven'. They met while both undergraduates at St John's College when Larkin "approached Nick to recruit him to a new English Society. They very quickly discovered a shared love of jazz - especially as Nick had a gramophone and Larkin didn't". The Seven, comprising Larkin, Russel, Kingsley Amis, Norman Iles, Philip Brown, David Williams and Hilary Morris, according to biographer Andrew Motion "anticipated the principles which were more coherently described by The Movement in the 1950s". Later, in a letter to Kingsley Amis, Larkin wrote "I should like to get back to the halcyon days of the suppers in Nick's rooms."
The North Ship was printed in an edition thought by Larkin's bibliographer B.C. Bloomfield to consist of no more than 500 copies, only a fraction of which where issued on publication. Bloomfield notes that a cache of unwrappered copies were inherited by Charles Skilton when they bought the firm. The majority of copies seen in commerce are price-clipped by the publishers with the later 12/6 price sticker, presumably having been printed for publication but remaindered and sold significantly later.
Presentation copies are of exceptional rarity. We can recall only two other copies being offered in the last 20 years, neither of which carried an association of this weight.

Bloomfield A1a;

Stock ID: 36657

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