Maggs Bros Ltd

Autobiography. The Story of my Experiments with Truth.

GANDHI Mahatma (1933, 1929.)

£12500.00  [First Edition]

Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

2 volumes. Portrait frontispiece to each volume, with tissue guards. Volume one reprint, volume two First edition. 8vo., tan wove cloth, dust jackets. Ahmedabad, volume one J.D.Desai, volume two Navajivan Press.

Translated from the Gujarati by Mahadev Desai and Pyarelal Nair. Inscribed on the frontispiece of volume one 'MKGandhi 4-6-'37'. Also inscribed on the title page 'To Annie and Jack from Hermann. Tithal, India. 4.vi.1937.' Hermann is Hermann Kallenbach, a Lithuanian-born Jewish South African architect, one of Gandhi's closest friends, who is mentioned many times in this autobiography, where Gandhi calls him his 'soulmate'. They met in 1904, and lived together in a house designed for them both by Kallenbach, now called Satyagraha House. Kallenbach, a keen sportsman, was very successful as an architect and acquired a good deal of property. He donated a 1000 acre farm near Johannesburg to Gandhi in 1910, and there he and Gandhi shared the simplest of lives according to Gandhi's principles. He was responsible for helping to organise Gandhi's Epic March, and accompanied Gandhi on his voyage to London in 1914. He was prevented thereafter from going to India with Gandhi, having been interned as an enemy alien at the outbreak of war in 1914. After the war he returned to South Africa, where he kept up a prolific correspondence with Gandhi. In the 1930s he became a Zionist in response to the rise of Nazism, and in May 1937 he was asked to visit his old friend in India, hoping to persuade him to speak up for Zionism and armed resistance to the Nazis. Gandhi declined, but they took up their old friendship. Kallenbach later wrote 'It is 'almost' as the old joint life, as if the 23 years, with all the events that affected millions of people, had disappeared'. As the two inscriptions are dated the same day, it seems likely that Kallenbach may well have asked Gandhi to sign this copy of his autobiography as a gift to 'Annie and Jack', a couple unidentified by us.

Dust jacket to volume one chipped at the head of the spine, torn down the top hinge and across the lettering, dust jacket to volume two chipped and creased at the head and tail of the spine and along the top margin.

Stock Code: 218594