Arms and the Maid

This is the coolest book in my house:


It's a first US edition of Arms and the Maid, which was only published once under that title. (The first British Edition was called Anthony Wilding, and it's been reprinted as Mistress Wilding since then.)

I've been collecting Sabatini for a few years now, but I'd never seen a copy for sale until I stumbled over it this summer. I got it in a box with a bunch of other old Sabatini books. Half of them were in iffy condition with clippings from their dust jackets glued inside, but the other half were first US editions. Two of those firsts had dust jackets. The price of the whole box worked out to less than $3 per book.

When I luck into editions I've been looking for that cheaply, I sometimes feel a little guilty. It passes quickly though. The seller was happy to get rid of a batch of inherited books he didn't know or care about, and I got a pile of stuff I wouldn't have otherwise found or wanted to pay for.

Sometime this month, I'm going to read this copy. I'll be careful with it; I'll even sit nicely in a chair rather than sprawling around on the floor like I usually do. But to me books are for engaging with, even when it comes to the old, rare ones.

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