A Shropshire Lad.London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, & Co. Ltd, 1896 Stock Code: 134741
First edition, first issue (state A, with the word "Shropshire" on the paper spine label measuring 33 mm wide, one of 250 copies thus), of Housman's influential poetry collection. This is the fine Bradley Martin copy, with his bookplate to the chemise.
The entire first printing, made at Housman's expense after Macmillan rejected the book, consisted of 500 sets of sheets, of which 250 were bound for this first issue, 150 were exported to the US for sale with an 1897 title page, and 100 bound up slightly later in a second state binding, also for the UK.
"Though not an instant success, the little volume gradually won a large audience through the universality of its dominant themes (nature, love, war, and death) and the directness of its language and rhythms. In a period of war, uneasy peace, and rapid social change, Housman was one of the most familiar and most highly regarded of the poets of his time. His celebration of landscapes and a rural life distinctively and traditionally English contributed to his poetry's appeal" (ODNB).
Octavo. Original japon-backed paper boards, paper spine label printed in red, edges untrimmed. Housed in a custom dark green morocco backed bookform slipcase and chemise.
Title page printed in red and black.
Contemporary ink gift inscription and pencil ownership inscription to half-title, armorial bookplate to front pastedown. Slight toning at fore-edge of the boards, and slight rubbing to the tips, but otherwise a fine copy.
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