Simonetta Perkins

HARTLEY, L.P. Simonetta Perkins.

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HARTLEY, L.P. Simonetta Perkins. London: G.P. Putnam's Sons,Ltd, 1925.

8vo., original cloth-backed marbled paper-covered boards, lettered in gilt to spine; outer edges untrimmed; pp. [ix], 2-151, [i]; edges of boards a little rubbed, with a couple of small stains to cloth; endpapers browned and offset, one or two roughly cut to the outer edge; mildly toned throughout but else fairly clean; small abraison to p. [i], possibly due to sticker being removed.
First edition of Hartley's first novel, inscribed by the author to p. [i]: "Oliver from Leslie with my love" and dated in the year of publication, December 1925. The plot centres around a young Bostonian woman, who is visiting Venice with her overbearing mother. Tiring of her family's attempts to find her a suitable suitor, her attentions quickly turn to a handsome gondolier.
Although considered by Hartley to be the most accomplished of his works, it was by no means his most sucessful. Published just one year after his first book (Night Fears, a collection of short stories), Simonetta Perkins earned the author just £12, although it was written about favourably. The Saturday Review called the young writer "one of the most hopeful talents", and The Calendar of Modern Letters said that Simonetta Perkins was a "distinguished first novel". Modern critics have called it his most dangerous, as Hartley explored infatuation and sexuality in a way considered less respectable at the time of writing. Indeed, it was only a few years later that D. H. Lawrence was to write Lady Chatterley's Lover, a book which was banned in the UK and did not appear unexpurgated until 1960.