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First Edition, Leather Binding, Publishers' Original Binding, With Slipcase
A wonderful association copy of the first edition of this posthumously published poem from W. H. Auden, a ninety-two line ballad 'transcribed as accurately as possible, with a number of guesses and reconstructed phrases, from an often barely-legible draft in a notebook belonging to Christopher Isherwood'. This copy was presented by Isherwood himself.
Published as Sycamore Broadsheet No. 23, the poem is printed on a tri-folded single sheet, and is inscribed by the Isherwood to poet and critic Stephen Spender: 'to Stephen with love from Christopher'.
Spender handprinted the first edition of Auden's 'Poems' in 1928, and was subsequently introduced by Auden to Isherwood. Isherwood, Auden, and Spender were identified as the most exciting new literary group in England in the 1930s, in what came to be known as the Auden Group.
Isherwood and Auden had known each other since prep-school, and published a number of works together.
The three were frequent collaborators throughout the next decades, travelling through Europe and America. The National Portrait Gallery currently holds a charming 1937 photograph of the three men together in photographer Howard Coster's London studio.
With illustrated the bookplate of Spender and his wife Natasha, along with the bookplate of famed Australian comedian, actor and author Barry Humphries to the rear. Humphries is known for his extensive book collection, and is best known for his alter-egos Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.
The poem is held in a marble paper covered, felt lined chemise, and housed in a lovely morocco backed slip case.
A single tri-folded sheet held in a marble paper covered, felt lined chemise, and housed in a morocco backed slip case. Sheet in excellent condition, with inscription to tail of front fold, and two bookplates to rear fold. Mark to rear of chemise, with slip case in fine condition.
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