by D. J. Desmond

First Published 1937 by C. Arthur Pearson

First edn wrapper. Click to enlarge
later wrapper for the 'first' edition
Not Illustrated

A well written introduction to the Play aimed at amateurs. It deals with the various responsibilities of the different members of an amateur club, and gives useful advice on avoiding pitfalls. It is written clearly and in a free flowing style which doesn't come between the reader and the message. It is obviously written by someone with first hand experience.

Why Malcolm Saville chose 'D J Desmond' as a pseudonym is a mystery. The effect of his involvement in amateur drama would be interesting to consider in relation to his writing, but for now, this book is an interesting 'oddity'. Unless you happen to be taking up amateur Drama. If so, then speaking as one who has, you could do much worse than read this book, and absorb the lessons it gives. They are still valid today.

First edition: orange cloth, black blocking of title along spine, title and author front board; 190x130mm (5x7 inches); 109pp; dated on title page.
See below for early wrapper. More common is the later wrapper: plain, similar colour to the boards, publisher included on spine, front has reduced size lettering and four vertical lines; rear has advert for four other books in 'The Beginner series'; cp 2/6.
A variation on the above plain dustwrapper has lately come to light - and is held by Mike McGarry.
This shows an earlier wrapper (cp 2/-) with much more dramatic artwork than that shown above.
As the rear of the dustwrapper advertises Photography for Beginners at 2/- whereas the one illustrated above shows a price of 2/6 on the same book.
Click to enlarge
earlier first edition Pictorial dustwrapper
picture courtesy of Mike McGarry

This page is part of the Malcolm Saville Centenary Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup
Created May 2001
last updated Dec 2009