Autograph novel manuscript bound in two volumes by Neil Bell, AKA Stephen Southwold, together with the dedication copy of the printed work, inscr… Read more
Autograph novel manuscript bound in two volumes by Neil Bell, AKA Stephen Southwold, together with the dedication copy of the printed work, inscribed on the dedication page with Bell’s nickname ‘Bunty’. Large quarto format in a custom binding with gilt labelling to the upper boards and spine. Bell has recorded the manuscript’s provenance on the 2nd flyleaf: ‘Original manuscript of “The Days Dividing” written at Green Gables, Seaford, Sussex during the spring of 1935 and published by Messrs Collins in Sep. 1935 and, in the U,S,, by Messrs Little Brown, in Oct. 1935. This manuscript is given to my friend John R. Crosland.’ Bell’s text is lightly corrected throughout, paginated chapter by chapter, probably both first draft and copy text for the printed edition which is in in very good condition in the illustrated jacket. Bell has inscribed the dedication page: ‘Countersigned with love from Bunty, September 17th 1935.’ Neil Bell (1887-1964) was one of many pseudonyms of the novelist Stephen Critten who was born in the Suffolk town of Southwold which appears, disguised, in this novel. Under his various guises Bell wrote in several genres and achieved significant success. In this novel he tells the story of an ill-fated love affair and its ramifications in action which moves between Ireland and London. This interesting text with its intriguingly inscribed printed edition seems ripe for rediscovery.