Books for sale

BOOKS FOR SALE – a selection On offer are works of poetry, fiction, drama and non-fiction (mainly literary criticism). Most of the books are in English or French, and a few are in German or Spanish. They include first, special, limited and numbered editions, with some books signed.

Almost all items are from the library of Professor Francis Scarfe (1911-1986), D. Litt., F.R.S.L., C.B.E., Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Critic, novelist, poet, scholar and translator, he was Senior Lecturer at the University of Glasgow, and then for 20 years Director of the British Institute in Paris.

He published four collections of poetry and three novels, but was best known for his pioneering critical study Auden and After (1942) reprinted many times, and his scholarly The Art of Paul Valéry (1954) and André Chénier (1965). His translations include work by Aragon, Bazin, Cocteau, La Fontaine, Jean and Simonne Lacouture, Maillard, Seuphor and Valéry, but his translations of Baudelaire brought him most success, with a 1961 Penguin edition (reprinted) and the 1986 & 1989 Anvil Press editions (reprinted, and now in new editions). I hope that this summary will place the books from Francis Scarfe’s library in a proper perspective, and that his signature and notes (the latter usually pencilled) will be appreciated as evidence of the esteem in which they were held by the artist and scholar.

Please contact me if any of the works listed interest you.


Antecedents for selling books can be traced to rural Victoria (Australia) where I set up and ran my own bookshop in Foster (1980-85), followed by my Octagon Bookshop in Omeo (1986-97). These were small businesses which dealt in new books. Experience in handling old and rare books can be found in my sale and donation of 2,000 Spanish dramatic items dating 1604-1900 to the University of Glasgow Library (2003). There they are listed as the ‘Scarfe – La Trobe Collection’ in my acknowledgement of assistance from the University of La Trobe in researching the plays. And, finally, I enjoyed five-star rating with AbeBooks (U.K.) where I sold on-line from 2005 to 2015. This stopped when I reviewed my situation and found that it was no longer economical.