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The Tragical History of Young King Cole. The Tragical History of Young King Cole.
The Tragical History of Young King Cole.
(COLE PORTER.) [BEECHAM, Sir Thomas.]
The Tragical History of Young King Cole.

Availability: In stock

By Didymus Belcampus.

Published: Venice G. Zanetti, 1926

Stock Code: 112395

£1,250

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Details

First and only edition, privately published, number 83 of an unspecified limitation. A quite wonderful memento of a short-lived but entertaining spat between Sir Thomas Beecham and Cole Porter: "Beecham spent most of the summer of 1926 on the Continent with Maud Cunard. In Venice he had an altercation with the American master of musical comedy, Cole Porter. Hoping for peace and quiet, he found his nights shattered by the noise emanating from a black jazz band that Porter had imported from Paris to play on a barge moored outside the Salute. (Diaghelev, also in Venice, was another complainant.) Beecham, using the pseudonym Didymus Belcampus, wrote a poem that he arranged to have printed called The Tragical History of Young King Cole, who was finally swept out to sea and drowned" (John Lucas, Thomas Beecham: An Obsession with Music, 2008, p. 168). The final illustration shows an octopus grappling with a sinking saxophone that is still blasting out a jumble of notes ("while down below her author, jazzed and jazzed in ecstasy"). Porter didn't forget Beecham's light-hearted broadside and fought back with the skit "Operatic Pills" in his 1929 revue Wake Up and Dream; the "Operatic Pills" being a play on the fact that the conductor was part of the Beecham's pills dynasty. Decidedly scarce: not in Copac or OCLC.
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Description

Octavo. Original cream-coloured wrappers, coloured illustrations on front and back. Housed in a flat-back cloth box made by the Chelsea Bindery.

Illustrations

Title page printed in red black, letterpress printed within a red wavy-line border, 6 illustrations in the text.

Condition

Light soiling to covers, small nicks and chips to spine, general paper toning. A very good copy.

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