Beall Cunningham - Wide White Page - Hutchinson, n.d. [1936], First Edition.


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London, Hutchinson, n.d. [1936]. First Edition. First Impression. Hardback. A very good copy. First edition determined as reprints designate their status [SPECTRUM, 1:63]. Concerns a group of men who set up a colony in Antarctica utilising near-future technology. The men build a Utopia only for their dreams to be shattered by the appearance of a one of the colonist's wives. But they labour on not wishing to allow all they have built to "miscarry for the sake of one woman." That quote's from the blurb. I pass no judgement. Beall Cunningham was a little-known female writer, Dorothy Beall Cunningham. The book is, seemingly, full of fascist sympathies (white, pure snow; germs can't live there; two 'rotten' men unnaturally close fall down a crevase [Dodds, Hemmings and Roberts, 2017]) which may go some way to explain the overt masculinity and misogyny. It works out in the end though, and the wives are to be allowed to come. Hurrah! An interesting novel. In 1935, the first female set foot on Antarctica (the wife of a whaling ship captain). This book, was published the following year. Bill Manhire, in his excellent 2004 anthology, also titled Wide White Pages, comments that Beall Cunningham's novel was likely the first novel written by a woman about Antarctica. Le Guin offers a nice counter to this in her short story 'Sur' which involves an all female expedition to Antarctica (Sur being a parallel to Shakleton's South). An important book? Utopia [Bleiler, p54]. Jacket is largely complete with some scuffing to the corners and spine. Tips chipped and worn with a 15mm tear to the top. Label roughly removed from lower spine. 35mm ragged tear with creasing to jacket rear. White a little soiled (I can't help but find an irony in that). Pages edges similarly soiled, not the pristine white they once were. Neat owner's inscription to front pastedown. COPAC locates four copies, though the BL copy is a second impression. [7783, Hyraxia Books].


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