The English Gentleman (Signed copy)
Signed by Simon Raven, and belonged to cricketer Charles Fry
First edition, first printing hardback in dustwrapper. 22 × 14.5cm, 188pp.
Signed and dated directly to the title page by Simon Raven (April, 1980). Also, this copy belonged to cricketer Charles Fry (grandson of C B Fry, played for Hampshire and Northamptonshire, President of MCC) and has his signature to the ffep.
"The English Gentleman was a casualty in the First World War, declined and fell after the Second; and now contemporary society regards his languishing body as either 'square' or downright obnoxious. The English Gentleman's principles, his dignity, tolerance, sense of obligation, his patriotism even, all appear today as redundant as a pair of spats. Yet for quite a long time he was a paragon among men, obeyed at home, and respected abroad.
In an elegant apologia Simon Raven himself declaims the title, but he has plotted the course of gentility from the first lame knight who received a grant of land to the exodus of Sir Matthew Tench, MP, from the big house to the lodge in 1942 under the indifferent stare of his ex-villagers. En route we are treated to some sidelong glances at those faithful manufactories of Gentleman—the English public schools, whose virtues (and other characteristics) Simon Raven illuminates from his own experience."
The book is in very good condition with clean pages and secure binding. The dustwrapper is a little faded to the spine with a few small chips and tears to the edges of the price-clipped dustwrapper.
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