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HARRIS, Frank.

Contemporary Portraits.

New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1915 Stock Code: 63174
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First edition, first printing. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To Margaret Viereck from the author, who admires her grace & beauty, more than any writing. Frank Harris. New York, 3 Washington Square. In this year of DisGrace 1915". A fine association: Margaret "Gretchen" Viereck was the wife of the German-American poet and writer George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962); the two were married in September 1915, the year of Harris's inscription. During the First World War, Viereck, born in Munich, was an outspoken supporter of Germany, as was Harris. "Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War Harris sailed for New York, where his war articles (collected in 1915 as England or Germany?) attacked Britain's war aims, legal and prison systems he had just been released from Brixton jail, philistinism, snobbery, and prudery. His paranoia increased when he was branded a traitor. Desperate for money, in 1915 he published Contemporary Portraits: there is a bitter, jealous tone to this book, except in the chapters on John Davidson and Richard Middleton, two unappreciated poets who were driven to suicide, with whose disappointment he sympathised" (ODNB).

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Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and front cover gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed.


Portrait frontispiece of Sir Richard Burton and five further portraits (Wilde, John Davidson, Richard Middleton, Swinburne, Rodin).


Spine and edges of boards lightly sunned, a couple of nicks to head of spine. A very good copy.


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