Friday, February 12, 2016

Bells in England

When I did my recent post on Tom Ingram at Lesser-Known Writers, I left out any illustration of Ingram's first book, Bells in England (1954). My copy lacks a dust-wrapper, and searching online produced examples of variant bindings and variant dust-wrappers.  The book has some interest beyond the subject of campanology, because Robert Aickman wrote two appendices for the book (see the Table of Contents, at bottom).  How did he come to do this?  Besides an acknowledgement to Aickman in the book, Miss Ray Gregorson (i.e., Aickman's wife) is also acknowledged for giving generous help. Another Aickman associate is Barbara Jones, the book's illustrator, and coincidentally, the illustrator of Gregorson's second book, Timothy Tramcar (1949).  Thus this book seems to be a product of the Richard Marsh Agency, the firm of literary agents run by Aickman and Gregorson. 

There seem to be at least three bindings for the book (green with gold bell, brown, and plain green), no priorities known, and at least two dust-wrappers (the color variations may be due to scanner settings). I have gathered most of these scans from the internet.  My own copy is shown at bottom, with the plain green boards.  It was apparently distributed to the American market, for the copyright statement is inked out on the copyright page, with "PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN" rubber-stamped underneath it.

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