Weimer: Verlag der Hofbuchhandlung Alexander Buschke Nachf, 1908. First Edition. A very early work by writer, actress and film maker Thea von Harbou, best known for writing and co-directing "Metropolis" (1927) in collaboration with her then-husband Fritz Lang. The only recorded presentation copy, INSCRIBED by both Thea and her brother Horst (who would go on to be the still photographer for several of Lang's early films): “Frau Eibl, der freundlichen Haarkunstlerin und Gehilfin bei diesem Werke, zur Erinnerung! [”Frau Eibl, the friendly hair-stylist and helper in this work, to your memory!”] / Thea von Harbou. Horst von Harbou. Weimar, 1.1.1909”.
A poetic romance, illustrated throughout with photographs, depicting the languid posturing of the young von Harbous and their friends. The players are dressed in 19th century costumes, as they lounge by statues and fountains, pose in ruins and veranda, punt among swans and take tea in rose gardens, all against the picturesque backdrops of Weimar Park, Tiefurt House, and the Schloss Belvedere.
The von Harbou siblings’ playful luxuriating in Weimar’s pleasure gardens is very much in keeping with their Prussian aristocratic upbringing, but runs markedly and interestingly against the political seriousness of Thea’s later work, almost entirely a rebellion against the privilege of her youth.
Landscape octavo. Original blue cloth- backed boards, green paper sides with elaborate floral gilt patterning and gothic titles to front board, a gilt cartouche to rear board, patterned endpapers. Florally decorated borders throughout, 57 photographic illustrations by Horst von Harbou in the text.
Very Good or better. Boards very slightly bowed, hinges starting, board gilt slightly dulled. Still a lovely copy overall.