At Swim Two Birds. First Edition, First Issue (1939)

Author: Flann O'Brien

Book ID: 64302

Price: 1,650.00

At Swim Two Birds. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1939. First Edition, First Issue. Pp, 315. Publisher’s black cloth boards, title lettered in gilt on spine, top-edge stained green; light rubbing to covers, two postage stamps neatly pasted to front pastedown, overall a nice bright copy. Lacking dust jacket.

The scarce first issue of Flann O’Brien’s masterpiece, housed in collector’s solander box.

On publication a quantity of the first issue sheets were bound in black cloth and issued in a black & green printed dust jacket. These were offered for sale at 10/6 (printed on inner flap on jacket). The blurb by Graham Green on the rear of the jacket referred to the author by his real name “O’Nolan” an important issue point as this was later changed to ‘O’Brien (his pen name) on the second issue jacket. Most of the bound stock (first issues) was destroyed when Longmans premises were bombed in 1940 and when only a small number had been distributed. One source states that only 82 copies came to Dublin, the centre from which one might reasonably expect the heaviest sales, and most of these would have been destined for the general fiction sections of libraries. Sheet stock however remained at the printers and this was bound up in grey-green cloth and reissued in 1941 or 1942 (known as the second issue) at a new price of 3/6 (much reduced due to poor sales of the first issue), and in a similar jacket with the two issue points changed as noted above.

His most famous work, ‘At Swim’ has been described as one of the most amusing, wildly funny works of genius in contemporary Irish literature. Described by Graham Greene as in the ‘line of Tristram Shandy and Ulysses.’

Out of stock

SKU: 64302 Category: