Tolkien's Gown & Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books by Rick Gekoski - review by Andrew Lycett

Andrew Lycett

Gertrude Stein’s Bra

Tolkien's Gown & Other Stories of Great Authors and Rare Books

By

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WHEN DOES A bookseller become a dealer? Both need to be able, at a glance, to spot an underpriced book amidst a shelf of dross. Rick Gekoslu provides the good example of visiting Graham Greene's Paris flat and noticing a copy of his littleknown work A& Two Years. This was one of two volumes of poetry published in minuscule editions by the Rosaio Press - named her the Anacapri villa where Greene lived with hls mistress Catherine Walston. It was so obscure that Greene's bibliographer missed it. No copies were sent out; Greene kept numbers one and two - his own and Lady Walston's.

What marks the dealer out from the mere seller is knowing where to offload such items. His most valuable possession is a contacts book crammed with the names of rich clients looking for tasty editions, particularly those with twee inscriptions, general appeal, and dinner-party credibility.

This cannot always be as easy

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