A Certain World: A Commonplace Book.London: Faber and Faber, 1971 Stock Code: 147279
First UK edition, first impression, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends on the title page: "To Bill, with love from Wystan", his printed name struck through. Auden described his commonplace book, or his collection of passages from other writers, as a "sort of autobiography" and "a map of my planet" (p. vii).
It was originally published in the US the year before. The recipient Dr William ("Woods") Shelton Gray, Jr (1926-1993) fostered friendships with major literary figures such as Auden and T. S. Eliot, and on one occasion met Ezra Pound. Auden dedicated the poem "The Aliens" to Gray, toured Europe with him, and in 1971 found him a position as a visiting lecturer in American Literature at the University of Graz in Austria.
Octavo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in gilt. With dust jacket.
A little rubbing to extremities, spotting to rear cover, internally bright and clean. A very good copy indeed, in like dust jacket, spine panel lightly toned, minor chip to rear flap fold, not price-clipped, remains bright and sharp.
Not in Bloomfield and Mendelson.
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