The Gold Falcon, or The Haggard of Love

Hardback, Faber, 2nd impression, February 1933.

Book condition: lacking the dust wrapper, top of spine slightly frayed, some light foxing, but otherwise a nice copy. Published anonymously, the author's name has been written in pencil on the title page.
Price: £10.00


The publisher's blurb to this first edition reads: 'The sub-title of this remarkable novel is: "The adventures of Manfred, airman and poet of the world war, and later, husband and father, in search of personal freedom and personal sunrise, in the city of New York; and of the consummation of his life."


'The scene is the seaboard of both Old England and New England; and the drama culminates in the wastes of the North Atlantic.


'The identity of the anonymous author has not been revealed to the publishers. They have it on the authority of the distinguished man who submitted the manuscript to them that he is "already a very well known novelist". But the book itself contains all the evidence of his quality that the publishers require.'


On publication the book caused some controversy (because of unflattering descriptions of literary contemporaries using thinly disguised pseudonyms), and intrigued reviewers because of the mystery of its authorship. It sold well, as evidenced by the issue of this second impression in the same month as the book was published. Guesses as to the author included T. E. Lawrence and Robert Graves, much to the annoyance of the latter, who vehemently denied being in any way associated with it.


The background to the story is based on HW's extended stay in New York in 1931, and he began writing the book while still there.


(For a further consideration of the book and the background to the writing of it, see Anne Williamson's The Gold Falcon.)