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Three Songs for St. Cecilia’s Day.
  • 104961

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Three Songs for St. Cecilia’s Day.

Published: New York City: privately printed [for Caroline Newton], 1941

Stock code: 104961

Price: £175

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First collected edition of these three poems originally published in Harper’s Bazaar, privately printed in a run of 250 copies only for the wealthy daughter of a well-known bibliophile who had fallen in love with Auden and positioned herself as his benefactress, an arrangement Auden was possibly encouraged to accept by Chester Kallman, who was himself happy to live off Auden. Sometime in the early 1940s Newton invited the two collaborators and occasional lovers, then on very poor terms owing to Kallman’s supposed infidelities, to stay at her house near Jamestown, Rhode Island. Christopher Isherwood joined them soon after and noted in his diary that “Caroline was a silly, snobbish, well-read woman with very little taste, often pathetic and kind-hearted, she was in love with Auden. The atmosphere was in the highest degree embarrassing.”

Octavo. Single gathering cord-stitched in original blue card wraps printed in black. Corners very lightly bumped. An excellent copy of a fragile publication.

Bibliography: Bloomfield & Mendelson A25; for Newton see Izzo, W. H. Auden Encyclopaedia, p. 184, for Isherwood's recollections see Tippins, February House, p. 218

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