Item #007700 Poems. Katherine Mansfield.
Poems
Poems
Poems
Poems
Poems
Poems
Poems

Poems

London: Constable & Co. Ltd., 1923. First edition. Hardcover. This an exceptional, jacketed first edition of Katherine Mansfield’s poems, compiled by her husband, John Middleton Murry and published the year she died of tuberculosis, at the age of 34.

The handsome binding features quarter tan linen with dark red Morocco spine label and brown, paper-covered boards. The contents are bound with untrimmed fore and bottom edges and gilt top edge. The book was issued in a tan, laid paper dust jacket printed in dark red on the spine and front face.

Condition approaches truly fine in a near fine dust jacket. The binding is square, tight, and pristine, with sharp corners and no reportable wear or blemishes. The contents are immaculate, with no spotting or previous owner names. The small, printed sticker of a New York bookseller – “Edgar H. Wells & Co.” – is affixed to the lower rear pastedown. This is plausibly the original seller of this book; Edgar Huidekoper Wells (1875-1938) operated Edgar H. Wells and Company, a rare book shop in New York City, from 1921 to 1938. The scarce dust jacket is remarkably well-preserved, only lightly toned and soiled and nearly complete, the sole exception being fractional loss at the upper rear joint. The dust jacket is protected beneath a clear, removable, archival cover.

The book is housed in a dark red cloth chemise housed in a matching slipcase featuring a hubbed and rounded dark red Morocco spine over dark red, cloth-covered sides. The slipcase is intact, though scuffed and worn, having apparently long and admirably done its job of protecting the magnificent copy within.

Mansfield (1888-1923) was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in New Zealand, which she left for England at the age of 19 to begin a career as an author. She wrote novels and poetry, but it was primarily as a short story writer of “brilliantly compressed short fiction” that she made her reputation. She and her second husband, John Middleton Murry, “attracted exceptional talents”, including D. H. and Frieda Lawrence and Virginia Woolf.

Mansfield’s stories “have found many distinguished admirers… she is praised for her economy and speed in assembling and dissolving a scene; for her wit, and a touch of the surreal; for her divination of the hatred and cruelties beneath the sweet surfaces of family life; and for her sympathy with the vulnerable, the displaced, and the lonely.” (ODNB)

Of Mansfield’s poetry, Murry’s Introductory Note says “…she had written and, at long intervals, continued to write poetry. Perhaps her poetry is not quite poetry, just as her prose is not quite prose. Certainly… they belong to the same order; they have the same simple and mysterious beauty… Comparatively few of these poems have been published… The poems have been roughly grouped in periods. Katherine Mansfield’s practice was suddenly to spend several days in writing poetry, and then to abandon poetry wholly for months and years together.”. Item #007700

Price: $1,850.00

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