Published by John Lane The Bodley Head 1938-1945, London, 1938
First editions of each volume in C.S. Lewis' important space trilogy including the dedicatee's (Lewis' brother's) copy of Out of the Silent Planet, the rarest book in the series. Octavo, three volumes, original cloth. Inscribed by C.S. Lewis' brother Warren Hamilton Lewis on the front free endpaper to whom the book is dedicated, "This book. Well, speaking as dedicatee I felt that it was up to me to buy it. What's more, I also think that you, as being friendly to us two, should try it. But if you should dislike the tale, Don't say so and thus spoil its sale: Keep quiet! W.H.L. to H.D.P. 10/10/38." The dedicatee, Warren Hamilton Lewis, was a British historian and officer in the British Army. He wrote on French history, and served as his brother's secretary in the later years of C.S. Lewis's life. Lewis referred to his older brother Warren ("Warnie") as "my dearest and closest friend," their lifelong friendship was formed as the boys played together in their home Little Lea, on the outskirts of Belfast, writing and illustrating stories for their created world called "Boxen" (a combination of India and a previous incarnation called "Animal-Land"). In 1908, their mother died from cancer and as their father mourned her, C. S. ("Jack") and Warren Lewis had only each other for comfort and support. Soon after their mother's death, Jack was sent across the North Channel to join Warren at an English boarding school named Wynyard in Watford, Hertfordshire, just northwest of London, where they both endured a harsh headmaster named Robert Capron. Warren had been taken there by his mother Flora on 10 May 1905. In 1909, Warren transferred to Malvern College in Worcestershire and was followed there by his brother a few years later. Each volume is near fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box made by the Harcourt Bindery. An exceptional set including one of the most important copies of the rarest book in the trilogy. Lewis' Space Trilogy relays the adventures of a philologist named Elwin Ransom, who voyages to Mars, Venus, and finally to earth after discovering that Earth has been exiled from the rest of the Solar System. The trilogy was inspired and influenced by David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus. According to biographer A. N. Wilson, Lewis wrote the novel after a conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien in which both men lamented the state of contemporary fiction. They agreed that Lewis would write a space-travel story, and Tolkien would write a time-travel one. Tolkien's story only exists as a fragment, published in The Lost Road and other writings (1987) edited by his son Christopher.