An ode in celebration of the centenary of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.Dorchester: Privately printed for Mrs. Thomas Hardy by Henry Ling, 1924 Stock Code: 147154
First separate edition, number 7 of 25 copies, signed by the author at the end of the poem, and initialled by his wife Florence on the limitation leaf.
Hardy wrote this work at the request of the RSPCA as part of their centenary celebrations, and it was first printed in the society's centenary volume, before appearing in The Times on 16 June 1924, where it was stated that there was no copyright. Florence Hardy moved to secure the copyright by rapidly producing her own copies on the same day. In a letter to Sydney Cockerell on 21 June 1924, Florence Hardy said that she had discovered that others were planning to print their own copies. "I at once telephoned to our local printer, Mr. Ling,... and explained the situation, and he rushed up and got the poem in print in less than an hour" (Purdy, p. 232). This did not, however, prevent other separate printings of the poem, including by the First Edition Club.
Quarto. Original cream wrappers, front wrapper printed in black, stitched as issued. Housed in a custom blue cloth chemise and blue quarter morocco slipcase (the spine stating it contains two copies).
Tiny splits at spine ends, else a fine copy.
Purdy pp. 231-2.
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