London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1844.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Signed by Author. First Edition. In Two Volumes. Octavo. Finely bound by Morrell in half brown morocco, marbled boards, the spines with raised bands and nicely decorated gilt in compartments, top edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Short biographies of 61actresses, with 10 engraved portraits. Fine condition. Sir John Gielgud's copy, inscribed to him on a preliminary blank in each volume: "To John Gielgud / from / Miles Malleson / To Hamlet from Polonius / in admiration / July 1944". William Miles Malleson (1888, Surrey - 1969), trained as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. He commenced acting in 1911, & perfected a special brand of comic character. In 1943 he appeared in Gielgud's revival of Love For Love, & during the war years he appeared along with Gielgud as Polonius to Gielgud's Hamlet. Malleson also appeared in Kind Hearts And Coronets , Wilde's, The Importance Of Being Ernest,  & Geordie, . As scriptwriter, Malleson had major credits as well; Neil Gwyn, , Victoria The Great, , & for Alexander Korda, The Thief Of Bagdad, , in which he also played the Sultan. An incredible association copy.
Item #20777 Price: US$3,375.00