DUFF, Charles

A Handbook On Hanging

London: Grant Richards and Philip Sainsbury at the Cayme Press, 1928

Small 8vo, pp. 128. Original pictorial boards with a gallows design. Printed paper label to spine. Splitting to head of spine, slightly cocked, corners of oversized boards a little bumped. Embossed device of previous owner to half-title.

First edition, first impression, with the misprint to the publication date on title page ('MCMXXVIIJ').

Born in what is now Northern Ireland, Charles Duff [1894-1966] was a linguist, a naval officer in the First World War, and an intelligence officer with the Foreign Office until his resignation on the 1930s in protest at what he saw as the Service's blithe acceptance of Spain's slide into Fascism. This grimly funny satire, reminiscent of Swift's A Modest Proposal, lays waste to the obscenity of judicial murder. It ran to seven editions within a year of its publication, was revised and enlarged by Duff six times during his lifetime, and was most recently republished by the New York Review Of Books in 2011, with an introduction by Christopher Hitchens.

Keywords: Charles DUFF"

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