Not forgetting Sybil, the Mystic pig.
CARTER, Angela. Nights at the Circus. London: Chatto & Windus, 1984.
8vo. Original red cloth; lettering in gilt to spine; striking dust wrapper designed by Barbara Kaiser; pp. 294, [ii], fine in fine jacket, just some very light toning to the text block.
First edition, signed by the author to the title page, with some later newspaper clippings regarding Carter tipped in.
The novel focuses on the life and exploits of Sophie Fevvers, a woman who is - or so she would have people believe - a Cockney virgin, hatched from an egg laid by unknown parents and ready to develop fully fledged wings. Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearney's circus. Jack Walser, an American journalist, is on a quest to discover the truth behind her identity. Desperate for the scoop of a lifetime, Walser has no choice but to join the circus on its magical tour through London, St Petersburg and Siberia.
A canonical postmodern novel, the British author's second-to-last published during her lifetime, and quite uncommon signed.