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Dated July 1, 1905 and sent from Trieste, the postcard asks if he may send for Elkin Mathews' consideration "...the ms. of a volume of love verses (34 in number) some of which have appeared in Speaker, Dana (the Irish Review), Saturday Review, etc", and clearly represents his first approach to the publisher who was to issue Chamber Music. According to Richard Ellman, Joyce's biographer and editor of the 'Letters', Arthur Symons had offered the collection to Grant Richards, without success, as early as 1904, but it was not until October 1906 that direct contact was made with Elkin Mathews and the work quickly accepted for publication in the following year*, but this postcard shows that there had been, after all, an earlier approach by Joyce.

Joyce has addressed the card to "Elkin Mathews Esq. Publisher, Londra, Inghilterra" (see illustration right) and may have assumed that the incomplete address had led to its going astray, but a blue pencil "Vigo St. W" - presumably added by a postal official - suggests that it was almost certainly delivered, and if Elkin Mathews did indeed reply, it may have been Joyce's own move from Trieste to Rome at the end of the month in which he sent the postcard that occasioned the failure of this initial approach.

Including postcards and a great deal of railway and military history ephemera, this sale at the Tara Towers Hotel ran to over 1100 lots, but just four more, including the Atlantic Telegraph book illustrated right, have been picked for report and one of them is another of 20th century literary interest.

A 1942 first of Hesketh Pearson's Bernard Shaw. His Life and Personality that sold for €1500 (£1020) was armorially bound in full mottled calf gilt by Bayntuns of Bath for Mairi, Lady Londonderry, a prominent society hostess, writer and longtime friend of Shaw, who has add the inscription, "Dear Mairi, Quite a lot of this is true".

Signed and decorated to the half title with a drawing of a fisherman landing a large fish, a deluxe copy in full green morocco gilt of the 1931, Rackham illustrated version of Walton's Compleat Angler, was sold for €2400 (£1635).

Among the earlier books on offer, none was more successful than a 1608 first edition of the Archbishop Daniel's translation into Irish of the Book of Common Prayer. The three-page English dedication was lacking, some of the pages had been backed and strengthened at the top and the whole had been resewn in 19th century full limp green morocco, but of the 18 recorded copies of this first printing by John Franckton of the Book of Common Prayer in Irish, only ten are complete and this example was bid to €12,000 (£8170).

* The Quentin Keynes copy of that 1907 first edition of Joyce's first book was sold for £2600 at Christie's on April 8.