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Racine by Giraudoux, owned by Iris Murdoch (1938)
Author: Giraudoux, owned by Iris Murdoch
Title: Racine
Year: 1938
Publisher: Gordon Fraser
Place: Cambridge
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £60
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[4] pp 5-35 [2] An inscribed copy of Giraudoux's Racine given to Iris Murdoch for her thirty first birthday. The inscription from an unidentified friend identified here only as 'K' reads: 'I from K. July 20, 1950. ['Outrageous company to be born into, Lunatics of a shining age long read. Then reckon time by what you are or do, Not by the epochs of the war they spread. Hark how they roar; but never turn your head. Nothing will change them, Let them not change you! Robert Graves]. The poem is Graves's 'To Lucia at Birth' which he wrote in 1943. At the time the gift was made Murdoch was passionately interested in contemporary French literature. Her first monograph was on Sartre and her first novel dedicated to Raymond Queneau. Even if it weren't already apparent from the inscription the book's donor clearly knew the aspiring author well. This edition is bound in the original green boards and about Good in condition with some fraying to the last few pages. The provenance is extremely significant given that the book was abandoned along with a number of other belongings when Murdoch and her husband John Bayley moved out of their chaotic Steeple Aston home near Oxford in 1985. Modernfirsteditions recently bought this archive in its entirety - including Murdoch's typewriter, ice skates, a TV typescript and a several books
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