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Parker, Louis N.  Several of my lives. London: Chapman & Hall, 1928. 8vo (22.7 cm, 8.875"). viii, 312 pp.; 32 plts.

First edition: From the prolific British playwright, an illustrated autobiography with signed ephemera laid in, mounted, or tipped in => including a handwritten letter and poem written by Parker, photographs, and newspaper clippings. Louis N. Parker (1852–1944), best known for his 1911 play Disraeli, started his career composing music after attending the Royal Academy of Music; as he began to lose his hearing, he became increasingly involved with drama instead. During his career, he wrote or translated (either alone or in collaboration) over 100 plays, and organized pageants — huge drama festivals involving hundreds of performers, inspiring a rise in "pageantitis" in England.
        Parker's biography is well illustrated with 32 black-and-white plates (including his frontispiece portrait) featuring the many people he met throughout his "lives" — early life, musical life, theatrical life, and pageant life (as the book is sectioned).
        Binding: Half red morocco double gilt-ruled, over red cloth sides; five raised bands to spine, lettering or elegant gilt floral decoration in ruled compartments. Top edge gilt, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed. => Signed by Bickers & Son.
        Provenance & added material: Previously owned by Parker's friend "Saint" (unidentified; see further). Mounted on front free endpaper, a black and white photograph of Parker in front of shelves holding a glass collection; mounted underneath is a clipping from a letter: "Your very affectionate, Luigi." On following verso, a newspaper clipping of an interview from 1932 is tipped in; on the next recto is mounted a letter to "Saint" (a delightfully written apology for the friend's absence in the book) with, on its second leaf, an original poem asking his friend to "accept this trivial book." Additional newspaper clippings laid in. On rear pastedown, a black and white photograph with a small ink note indicating it is of Parker's salon; on rear free endpaper, Parker's obituary clipped from the Illustrated London News (as indicated by previous owner's pencilled note) dated 1944. Occasionally a pencilled word or checkmark; one clipping with cut-off words supplied in ink.

Bound as above, minor rubbing to corners, small stain and light fading to boards; offsetting to endpapers and soiling from glue used to attach ephemera, evidence of one glue-in removed. Evidence of readership as above; one checkmark in old-fashioned red pencil. => A splendid, unique volume containing intriguing related ephemera — clearly owned by a special friend of Parker's.  (38018)   Please RESHELVE This.

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