"It is a nice-looking sword. Where did you get it?"
"I found it stuck in a stone, outside a church."
Sir Kay had been watching the tilting nervously, waiting for his turn. He had not paid much attention to his squire.
"That's a funny place to find a sword," he said.
"Yes, it was stuck through an anvil.”
"What?" asked Sir Kay, suddenly rounding upon him. "Did you just say this sword was stuck in a stone?"
EXCEEDINGLY RARE PAGE PROOFS FOR THE FIRST EDITION OF WHITE’S CLASSIC; precedes the publication of the first edition.
"When T.H. White produced The Sword in the Stone (1938), Arthurian fiction took a giant step forward. White ignored the traditional Arthurian storyline, using stock characters and circumstances only when he needed them, and developed an Arthurian world of his own. The tale still reflects the contemporary mores of the 1920s and 1930s… and is wonderfully anachronistic in its creation of the Arthurian world, using modern images and inventions when convenient. In so doing White depicts an acceptable Arthurian existence, a world beyond time where Merlin has taken young Wart (Arthur) for his training and preparedness for the world.
"White's book was the first in a series of novels that became darker, more subtle and less whimsical, partly because of the onset of WWII but also because of the increasing tragedy of the subject matter. The Sword in the Stone, The Witch in the Wood (1939) and The Ill-Made Knight (1940) were later revised and enlarged, with the addition of 'The Candle in the Wind', as The Once and Future King (1958), to many still the definitive Arthurian volume of the 20th century. The book served as the basis for the stage musical Camelot (1960; movie 1967) and Disney's animated movie The Sword in the Stone" (Clute and Grant, The Encyclopedia of Fantasy).
339 leaves printed on rectos only, made in preparation for the first edition. With head- and tail-piece illustrations by White throughout. London: Collins, 1938. Octavo, twentieth-century half morocco with original wrappers bound-in. A fine copy. SCARCE.
Price: $4,500 .