Title: Flowers from Many Gardens.
Publisher: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent.
Publication Date: 1910
Book Condition: Very Good
Edition: 1st Edition
No date but 1910. First edition. 190,  printed pages. Inscription on a flyleaf 'with love to my darling from Grandpa 1948'. 90 x 148 mm. De-luxe binding in full crushed green morocco with silk doublures and endleaves. Small stamp at foot of pastedown SPEALLS 61 SOUTH AUDLEY STREET W; binder unknown, but by one of the leading trade bookbinders. All edges gilt, both covers and spine with inlaid frame in red, gilt lines. Writer, poet, and gardener Vita Sackville-West's mother, Victoria, Lady Sackville, was notorious for her money-making schemes, among them, opening a shop in South Audley Street, London which Victoria wanted to name Knole Guild after a charitable scheme she had started in Kent. Her husband objected, and, according to Vita, "It was not often that my father put his foot down.but on this occasion he was firm, and my mother, genuinely puzzled and considerably aggrieved, had to give way. She was soon comforted by her own ingenuity in inventing the name Spealls, an anagram composed from the name of her first, but not last, manageress. Frankly, the Spealls period was one of the most trying we ever had to live through. For one thing, it was fertile in rows, rows with her managers and assistants, all of whom in turn she accused of dishonesty and incompetence; rows with her friends, who either did not pay their bills promptly enough or were tiresome enough to treat Spealls as an ordinary shop, where one could make complaints, ask for things on approval, or exchange unwanted goods; rows with ourselves, whenever she scented an atmosphere of disapproval or accused us of being disobliging . The truth was that if one once started being obliging about Spealls, there was no time left for anything else in one's life". Even Conan Doyle had his original manuscripts bound there with identical stamps of SPEALLS 61 SOUTH AUDLEY STREET W on the pastedowns. "I am having mine bound in vellum by Spealls", he wrote in a December 1913 letter, "so as to be ready for the capricious millionaire whom we all hope for and never see". However, Victoria was not good at retailing, despite the services of Vita ("My mother then unfortunately remembered that I had once written a verse on the death of a canary, so, as that seemed the only way in which I could make myself useful, I was set to compose mottoes suitable to decorate ash-trays and blotting-books"). The short-lived shop ended in failure, as did many of Victoria's enterprises. No damage or wear to head, tail or corners, hinges sound - altogether remarkable survivor. Regular copies found by WorldCat in four libraries Cambridge and Trinity College Dublin Universities, National Library of Scotland & Bremen. I can find no other examples of Spealls bindings surviving apart from the Conan Doyles and a Dante at Sissinghurst. Seller Inventory # 5264