The Acreage of the Heart.
First edition, first impression. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed in Todd’s neat hand in brown ink on the front free endpaper: “for Dunstan with love from Ruthven. 21: i (?): 1945”; and below this a holograph poem in two 6-line stanzas, beginning: “A moth caught in the electric flash/ of Europe’s dynamos run out of hand”. The recipient is almost certainly the American poet Dunstan Thompson (1918-1975), who served in the US Army during the war (Todd was a conscientious objector) and later settled in Britain; three of his poems are anthologised in Masquerade: Queer Poetry in America to the end of World War II. The line “The tall soldier wears the clothes they gave/ reach-me-downs, fitting for the grave” is surely a reference to Thompson’s wartime appearance. The poem is apparently unpublished. An excellent association copy.
Octavo. Original gilt lettered red cloth spine, white boards. With the dust jacket. Colour frontispiece by John Maxwell (repeated on dust jacket). Jacket torn at head of spine (with a little loss), closed-tear across back panel, boards dished. A very good copy.
Bibliography: Reilly, English Poetry of the Second World War, p. 330Don't understand our descriptions? Try reading our Glossary