Although described on the front cover as 'a novel', this is perhaps more properly to be called a 'novella', as it runs to a mere 47 pages including the many delightful illustrations by Erte. Likewise, although it has the appearance of a story for children, it is anything but, being a rather 'racy' tale of the emergence of two giddy young 17-year olds into the adult world. Written in 1913, for the enjoyment of the author's friends, it lampoons Edwardian society's standard reaction of horror to sex and sexual deviation, and is a scathing criticism of the taboos under which Strachey himself suffered, and the repressive procedures governing the upbringing of adolescents, especially young girls.
Giles Lytton Strachey (1880–1932) was a British writer and critic, and a founding member of the Bloomsbury Group. Author of "Eminent Victorians", he is best known for establishing a new form of biography in which psychological insight and sympathy are combined with irreverence and wit. His biography "Queen Victoria" (1921) was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. As a homosexual in a period when to be such was to be breaking the law, he lived in a platonic relationship with Dora Carrington for some years (until his death), the household being joined by Ralph Partridge after this gentleman's marriage to Dora.
Romain de Tirtoff (1892–1990) was a Russian-born French artist and designer known by the pseudonym Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials. A diversely talented 20th-century artist and designer, he flourished in many fields, including fashion, jewellery, graphic arts, costume and set design for film, theatre, and opera, and interior decor.
Our copy of the book is in generally good condition, protected by an unclipped dust jacket somewhat worn and torn but with no frank loss, also designed by Erte. The book itself is bound in bright pink cloth with a decorative gilt letter E in a garland of leaves at the bottom R/H corner of the front cover, and gilt titles etc to the spine. There are almost no signs of use or wear externally. Inside, the binding is firm, all pages are clean and bright, and there is no foxing. A nice copy.