Item Details

AFTER MANY A SUMMER.

London: Chatto And Windus, 1939.

1st Edition. First Edition. 8vo., Gilt stamped brown cloth. A very good or better copy in a moderately used dustwrapper. Signed & Inscribed to George Cukor: " For George, in the midst of 'Pride & Prejudice,' & in friendship. Aldous H. 1939." Below this Huxley penned another inscription in 1945: "Why did you desert us before the shooting?" A.H., 1945." Cukor's famous Paul Landacre designed bookplate on the front pastedown. After moving to Los Angeles in the late 1930's, Huxley finally wrote his first Hollywood assignment in 1938; a treatment for a film based on the life of Madame Curie which Cukor was hired to direct, but by the time of its release in 1943, both the script & the director had been replaced. Cukor was the first director intended for the script Huxley wrote for Pride and Prejudice, but was again replaced. Although the two never collaborated successfully despite various attempts over the years, their friendship endured until Huxley's death in 1963. A Burgess 99 novel. Along with Point Counter Point [28], & Brave New World [32], After Many A Summer is considered the third part of Huxley's best work. This was Huxley's Hollywood Novel, "a satire and parable on modern civilization" - Baird & Greenwood, #1237. While researching a rare manuscript owned by the eccentric & wealthy Jo Stoyte, Jeremy Pordage, a young scholar accidentally stumbles across a solution to Stoyte's paranoid fears about his mortality. "At once comic and ironic, philosophic, religious, and erotic, and in its development both tragic and horrific, the narrative leads -- by way of the eighteenth-century manuscript journal of the 5th Earl of Gonister found by Jeremy among the Hauberk Papers -- to a conclusive anticipation of Stoyte and Obispo's [his live-in physician] search for the elixir of life." - Longman Companion to Twentieth Century Literature, p.7. Pride and Prejudice (1940). MGM production chief Irving Thalberg had bought the rights to a stage adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen's witty novel about romance threatened by class differences in 19th-century England, as a vehicle for his wife, Norma Shearer. Thalberg's sudden death in 1936 put the project on hold, although Louis B. Mayer considered following through with Shearer and Clark Gable, Melvyn Douglas or Robert Donat in the leads. Somewhere along the way, it was decided that George Cukor would direct. Then there was a switch in leading ladies, from Shearer to Greer Garson' either because Shearer withdrew or, according to other sources, Mayer decided the plum part should go to his new protégé. As it turned out, the movie set Garson firmly on the path toward becoming Shearer's successor as MGM's reigning "Great Lady." Laurence Olivier, fresh from his successes in Wuthering Heights (1939) and Rebecca (1940), signed on as Garson's co-star reluctantly, because he was convinced that Vivien Leigh (whom he married in 1940) was the ideal leading lady. Olivier was further dismayed when Cukor, Leigh's favored director from Gone With the Wind (1939), was taken off Pride and Prejudice to direct Joan Crawford in Susan and God (1940). But the new director, Robert Z. Leonard, rose to the occasion and, with the benefit of a script polished by Huxley, turned Pride and Prejudice into a sparkling success. Huxley later claimed that he had accepted the assignment only for the money, and that his salary not only supported him in the U.S. for a year but allowed him to send funds to needy friends in England during World War II.

Item #26788 Price: $6,750.00
AFTER MANY A SUMMER. Aldous Huxley.