London: Collins, 1965, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Black & white drawings; Illustrated endpapers and blanks; Frontispiece;
From the cover: In 1964 The Compleat Imbiber 7 received the Wine and Food Societys first Andre Simon Award for the best contribution in English to the literature of gastronomy. In this, the eighth Compleat Imbiber, Cyril Ray has been equally successful in bringing together a remarkable collection of illustrated stories, articles and verse for those who enjoy not only good food and wine but also good writing. Once again it has been his aim to entertain and to inform, as it has been that of the designer, Charles Hasler, to please the eye.
It is invidious to mention individual pieces in such a collection, and a full list of contributors will be found on the back flap of this wrapper. However, readers in search of entertainment will alight with pleasure on Eva Ibbotsons story of the carp that refused to die in time for Christmas, Alan Briens account of a drink with Hemingway and the verses; they will also find Katharine Whitehorn and Bernard Levin as irrepressible as ever. Music, fashion and architecture all take a place in the book and the centenary of the Cafe Royal is celebrated with an illustrated article on its magnificent grill room, the only feature of it that Wilde and his circle would recognise today.
Those who read the Imbiber for enlightenment will be grateful for the detailed advice on the technique of tasting and to Edmund Penning-Rowsell for his suggestions about wine to drink and to lay down this year. For those who like beer Gerard Fays brief history of Guinness is exceptionally interesting and another visit to Ireland is made by Paul Hogarth, whose drawings illustrate the haunts of Brendan Behan. He also followed Behan to New York and this year the Imbiber includes several pieces on the eating and drinking habits of Americans. Cyril Ray has set the seal of distinction on this miscellany with his own introduction.
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Edges of the dust wrapper somewhat frayed with a little light scuffing, tanned on the verso. Edges of the text block lightly tanned. Text complete, clean and tight.
Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 224 pages. 10″ x 6¼”.