Publisher Printed in the School of Art, University of Reading. 1953
Seller ID 18552
First edition. Presentation copy from the author, "To James and Elsa Bartley in affection Kingsley Amis, 1954." Original limp bds., printed wrapps. browned and lightly soiled. Sl. browning to reverse of contents page. VG+. James is James Bartley, "Jo", (1906-1967), was a lecturer in English, University College, Swansea, a specialist in drama, particularly Irish, active in producing plays at the university. He is mentioned a number of times in Amis's Memoirs and often mentioned in letters. He was a friend and drinking partner from Amis's years as a Swansea academic. From "Memoirs", page 123. "Jo Bartley was an Ulsterman who, with a Second to live down, had taught in India, one of whom it could be justly said, 'Now that's what I call a drinking man' and a smoker to rival Willie Smyth. he liked food too, also women, doing his job and researching among obscure plays. This last interest produced his memorial, one of the funniest books I have ever read, 'Teague, Shenkin and Sawney, being an historical study of the earlier Irish, Welsh and Scottish characters in English plays'...". On page 124 he talks about a party Jo gave for some visiting African academics and quotes in full a funny poem of Jo's about not being able to enjoy heaven without one vital anatomical part. This poem is also sent to Robert Conquest, "Letters" page 805 in 1976, nearly 10 years after Jo's death to see if it was worth publishing. Conquest rejected it on theological as well as literary grounds, since 'a chap in his condition would get his prick back at the resurrection'! Letter to Amis 19-20 August 1976. Also from "Letters", To Philip Larkin 18th October, 1954. "...Sorry this is so dull....There was one party recently, at which James Bartley had removed his shirt..., ostensibly for greater coolness, actually I think to display the grey rug on his chest to the young ladies...At about 4.45 James knocked us up...he wanted a light for his cigarette. I gave him one, and he went off, bewailing his lot at full bellow...and yelling to me to testify at the inquest that he was of unsound (or sound) mind when he killed himself. 'It may be sooner than you think,' he bawled in valediction. Couldn't be soon enough for me, or so I thought at the time. It is by such moments of unsought revelation that I live." Also, 19th April 1956, "...That gnarled old fool Bartley was here just now, breathing drink and waking the baby. Told me to give you his love. Said to tell you he was sorry you left Belfarts..." Also, 2nd January, 1957, "...You heard, I suppose, that that fool Bartley has been arrested for being drunk in charge of his car, and getting off without the defence being called. Sodding good solicitor he had".
FICTION, MODERN FIRSTS literature signed association larkin amis