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Treasure Box.
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  • 107538
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GRAVES, Robert.

Treasure Box.

Published: [London: for the author, 1919]

Stock code: 107538

Price: £4,500

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First and only edition, one of 200 copies printed. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author to “Ivor Gurney, from Robert Graves” on the front wrapper verso. A superb association copy, linking two poets profoundly influenced by their experiences in the Great War. Until Gurney’s collected letters were published in 1991, it was unknown whether the pair had ever met in person, though Gurney was known as an admirer of Graves’s and set several of his poems to music. The year of publication, 1919, was probably that of their first meeting, at the house of fellow veteran John Masefield at Boar’s Hill, Oxford, where Graves was lodging with his wife while reading for a degree in English at St John’s College. Treasure Box was his first book of poetry after demobilisation. Three years later Gurney was committed to the City of London Mental Hospital in Kent, and remained there until his death from tuberculosis in 1937.

Octavo, 16 pp. Original plain blue wrappers. Housed in a custom blue morocco backed-slipcase and matching chemise. Vignette title page and one line-drawing by Nancy Nicholson. Wrappers split along spine and slightly marked. A very good copy.

Bibliography: Higginson A4; see Carder, Songs of Graves's and Gurney's Friends, in Gravesiana: The Journal of the Robert Graves Society, vol. IV, no. 1 (2014).

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