Rare Books

"Cecil Beaton Diaries" BEATON, Cecil (INSCRIBED)


First Editions

Weidenfeld & Nicholson

8.75" x 5.75"

Ex-Libris: Mary Anna Marten w/ her bookplates

The Wandering Years
First UK Edition
To Mary Anne with love from Cecil
[387] pp.

The Years Between
First UK Edition
Mary Anna with love from Cecil
[352] pp.

The Happy Years
First UK Edition
Mary Anna love Cecil
[248] pp.

The Strenuous Years
First UK Edition
For darling Mary-Anna with love from her affectionate Cecil 1973
[231] pp.

The Restless Years
First UK Edition
To Mary Anne love from Cecil
[190] pp.

The Parting Years
First UK Edition
To Mary Anne love from Cecil
[164] pp.

BEATON, Cecil: CECIL BEATON DIARIES. The Wandering Years 1922-1939; The Years Between 1939-44; The Happy Years 1944-48; The Strenuous Years 1948-55; The Restless Years 1955-63; The Parting Years 1963-74.

London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. 1961 - 1976

First edition, first printing. Six volumes. Each an inscribed presentation copy from the author to Mary Anna Marten. With 4 autograph letters signed. All volumes with the bookplate of Mary Anna Marten to the front pastedown. The Wandering Years is in very good condition with a slight spine lean, the dustwrapper is faded to the spine with some small nicks at the extremities. Inscribed on the title page “To Mary Anna / with love / Cecil”. Tipped in to the back of the book are two autograph letters and one postcard from Cecil Beaton to Mary Anna Marten; The Years Between is in very good condition in a good rubbed, torn and chipped dustwrapper. Inscribed on the front free endpaper “Mary Anna / with love from / Cecil”. There is some adhesive marking on the endpaper affecting the inscription from the bookplate fixed to the front pastedown. Tipped into the rear is an autograph letter from the author; The Happy Years is in near fine condition in a near very good nicked and torn dustwrapper. Inscribed on the title page “For Mary Anna / Love / Cecil”; The Strenuous Years is in near fine condition with the very good lightly worn and spine faded dustwrapper. Inscribed by the author in blue ink on the front free endpaper “For darling / Mary-Anna / with love from / her affectionate / Cecil / 1973.”; The Restless Years is in near fine condition, in the very good lightly worn and spine faded dustwrapper. With a birthday presentation inscription to Mary-Anna Marten from her daughter on the front free endpaper and inscribed by the author on the half title “To Mary-Anna / love from / Cecil”; The Parting Years is in near fine condition in the very good rubbed and nicked dustwrapper. Inscribed in black ink on the title page “To Mary-Anna / love from / Cecil”.

Mary Anna Sibell Elizabeth Marten, OBE (1929–2010) was an English aristocrat and landowner who made legal history in the Crichel Down affair.

She was born Mary Anna Sibell Elizabeth Sturt on 12 September 1929 at Moor Critchel, the daughter of Napier Sturt, 3rd Baron Alington and Lady Mary Sibell Ashley-Cooper, daughter of the 9th Earl of Shaftesbury, sometime Lord Steward to the Household of George V & Queen Mary, by his wife Lady Constance Sibell Grosvenor (d 1957), a great friend of Queen Mary, daughter of Earl Grosvenor, and sister of Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster. She was god-daughter to Queen Elizabeth (later The Queen Mother), and in 1953 her son Napier was a page at the Coronation of Elizabeth II.

After joining the Brownies alongside Princess Margaret, Mary Anna went to school in Lancaster Gate and later attended Cheltenham Ladies' College. Upon the death of her father, Baron Alington in active service in the RAF in 1940, Mary Anna inherited the Crichel House Estate in Dorset. In 1948 she went up to Somerville College, Oxford, to read agriculture, but she did not finish her degree.

Mary Anna and her husband, Lt.-Cdr. George (Toby) Gosselin Marten, L.V.O. D.S.C., Royal Navy, (1918 - 1997), son of Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Arthur Marten, K.B.E., C.B., C.M.G., C.V.O., were married on 25 November 1949 at Holy Trinity Brompton. He was an equerry to George VI, and the marriage was attended by George VI, Queen Elizabeth (Mary Anna's godmother), Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duchess of Kent, the Earl and Countess of Athlone.

The Martens had a son, Napier, and five daughters.

Crichel Down affair
Part of the Alington family's Crichel Down estate had been compulsorily purchased by the Government in 1938 for military use, and the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill later gave an undertaking that when the Government no longer needed the land for the purpose for which it had been requisitioned, the land would be sold back to the original owners. When this did not happen, Mary Anna and her husband took on the Government, and eventually won back their land, following the resignation over the issue by the relevant Minister. The episode became known as The Crichel Down affair, a term still used in British legislation. The estate was sold after her death.

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