N. WESLEY FIRTH – BRITISH PULP FICTION AT ASH RARE BOOKS

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N. WESLEY FIRTH – BRITISH PULP FICTION

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : BROADWAY DOLL [COVER TITLE].

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : BROADWAY DOLL [COVER TITLE].

London : Hamilton & Co. (Stafford), [1946]. First edition. Sixteen-year-old girl who knows boys can be bad, but not quite how bad, is acquitted of murder. Twenty years on, she writes down “what really went on that night in the luxurious room above the Bexton Burlesque Theatre”.
Crown 8vo (19cm). (128)pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – a handsome H. W. Perl redhead; slightly sunned; some very minor wear; a couple of faint creases; three tiny holes and some minute indentations to front wrapper; staples slightly rusted; a few slight spots to edges and last leaf, but still a very good copy of a scarce and fragile title. No copy located in any major library worldwide.

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : “CONCERTO FOR FEAR!” (FEATURING RED BENTON).

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : “CONCERTO FOR FEAR!” (FEATURING RED BENTON).

London : Bear Hudson, 1945. First edition. Each time a certain point in the concert was reached, someone died. Red Benton and his whisky-loving accomplice Happy Harringay investigate. Bear Hudson No. 530.
Demy 8vo (22cm). 32pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – a three colour design by H. W. Perl (1897-1952); some light wear and creasing; staples rusted; some internal creases and a few marks, but a good copy. Just a single copy (British Library) located in major libraries worldwide.

£25

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : [DROP-TITLE] A COWARD AT HARCOURT.

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : A COWARD AT HARCOURT [COVER TITLE].

London : Mitre Press, [1944]. First edition. “What the dickens is it, you chaps?” – it’s Eustace Green turning up for his first day at Harcourt College in tight velvet and a frilly silk collar. Firth very much in Frank Richards mode.
Crown 8vo (19cm). (16pp). Original two-colour pictorial stapled wrappers – a design by H. W. Perl; staples rusted, with resultant damage; a few spots, but otherwise a good copy. Just two copies (Bodleian and British Library) located in major libraries worldwide.

£20

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : FUTURISTIC STORIES [COVER TITLE].

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : FUTURISTIC STORIES [COVER TITLE].

London : Hamilton & Co. (Stafford), [1946]. First edition. One of just two known issues of this short-lived science fiction magazine – three stories – Firth’s “The Lords of Zorm” and “Laughter of the Gods”, the latter written under his “Earl Ellison” pseudonym, and “The Timeless Dimension” by “Rice Ackman”, almost certainly another Firth pseudonym.
Crown 4to (25cm). (48)pp. Frontispiece. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – an extraordinary design by H. W. Perl; somewhat rubbed, worn and creased, with a couple of minor repairs to spine; staples rusted; title-page a touch dusty; text lightly tanned, with a few tiny nicks, but a reasonable copy of a scarce and fragile publication. Just two copies (Bodleian and Liverpool) located in major UK libraries.

£40

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : “OUT FOR THE COUNT”.

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : “OUT FOR THE COUNT”.

London : Hamilton & Co. (Stafford), 1947. First edition. Newly found wealth, young love, deceiving men, arrest in Piccadilly Circus, and an act of questionable morality at the Chelsea Arts Ball. Firth in fine and rollicking form.
Crown 8vo (19cm). 194 (i.e.192)pp. Original blue boards, lettered in black; a touch sunned at tips, faint spine crease, but otherwise a very good copy in the charming dust-jacket by H. W. Perl (1897-1952) – rubbed, a little creased, price-clipped, chipped at head, tail and corners, with a larger (4 x 2.5cm) portion missing from rear panel and some nicks and short tears, but substantially complete and a rare and fragile survival.

£25

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : SPAWN OF THE VAMPIRE [COVER TITLE].

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : SPAWN OF THE VAMPIRE [COVER TITLE].

London : Bear, Hudson, [1946]. First edition. “High in the Transylvanian Alps, close by a small village called Safnia, stands the mighty grey-walled castle of the Grafshens ...” – the ever-versatile Firth in something of a cult classic presents Jerry Liddon, “English, bronzed, clear-eyed and fair-haired” and his new half-Romanian bride, “tip-tilted nose and dark, glossy hair”, married in Bucharest and Safnia-bound. What could possibly go wrong? This archetypal Bear, Hudson publication also includes Frank Griffin’s “All Set for Murder”.
Crown 8vo (19cm). 80pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – an evocative design by H. W. Perl – Hyman Woolf Perlzweig (1897-1952); a little rubbed; rear wrapper lightly marked and creased; staples rusting; text lightly tanned, with the first leaf slightly spotted, but a good copy of a well-known rarity. Just two copies (British Library and National Library of Wales) located in major UK libraries.

£125

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FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : STUDIO REVELS.

FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949 : STUDIO REVELS.

London : Hamilton & Co. (Stafford), [1946]. First edition. Girl from a sweat shop responds to a modelling advertisement – the “inside story” of Greenwich Village – “queer, crazy characters, torn from a page of life, the riotous studio parties, the life of a professional model, and the excitement of the hunt for a crazed strangler”.
Crown 8vo (19cm). (128)pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – a design by H. W. Perl; wrappers a little creased and slightly discoloured; edges smoke-blackened; staples rusted; slight adhesion damage to title-page, but a good and serviceable copy. No copy located in any major library worldwide.

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[FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949] – “FIRTH, Sheila A.” : ORCHID LADY.

[FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949] – “FIRTH, Sheila A.” : ORCHID LADY.

London : Hamilton & Co. (Stafford), [1948?]. First edition. A charming tale which opens in Petticoat Lane on a Sunday morning and the prettiest girl in the market is serving jellied eels. Firth here using the name of his daughter, Sheila Ann Firth (1945-2018), as one of his many pseudonyms. Also includes an additional story – “Her Next-Door Rival”, by Eve Calvert.
Crown 8vo (18cm). 32pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – a design by “Brab” – Oliver Gilmore Brabbins (1912-1973); a little marked and worn; staples rusted and paper damaged; a reasonable copy of a scarce item. No copy located in any major library worldwide.

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[FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949] – “HALWARD, Leslie” : DAMES IN DISTRESS.

[FIRTH, N. Wesley (Norman Wesley), 1920-1949] – “HALWARD, Leslie” : DAMES IN DISTRESS.

London : Grant Hughes, [ca.1948]. First edition. “He first noticed her in Sylvester’s Restaurant in the Strand, where he had gone for dinner. She was not young and not old – she might have been anywhere between the ages of twenty-five and thirty – and she was beautiful” – but Lance Knight (The Knight) is more interested in her companion, a criminal beyond the reach of the law, because his hobby is meting out justice to the untouchable.
Crown 8vo (18cm). (64)pp. Original pictorial stapled wrappers – a design by H. W. Perl; spine and edges smoke blackened; some wear at head; staples heavily rusted; a few marks, but the text largely unopened; a serviceable copy of a scarce book. No copy traced in any major library worldwide.

SOLD

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