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BETJEMAN, John.

Continual Dew.

A Little Book of Bourgeois Verse.

London: John Murray, 1937 Stock Code: 123743
£1,250.00
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Signed by the author and from the library of poet Maurice Craig

First edition, first impression. Signed by the author on the front free endpaper, with an autograph Christmas card signed by Betjeman in English and Gaelic loosely inserted. A lovely association copy owned by the Irish architectural historian, writer and poet Maurice Craig (1919-2011), with his bookplate to the front pastedown and ownership inscription, dated October 1938, to the front free endpaper. Craig was an ardent architectural conservationist, stating that "Architecture is the most accessible of the arts; yet paradoxically it is the least noticed by people" (Craig, 1952). Betjeman likewise had a keen interest in architecture and conservation, as evidenced in the ephemera loosely inserted into this copy, including a newspaper clipping of an article written by Betjeman from The Listener, dated 8 September 1938, entitled How to Look at a Church, and another dated 28 April 1937 entitled Bristol: An Unspoiled City, discussing the city's well preserved architecture and comparing it to the developments occurring in London at the time. Betjeman had moved to Dublin, where Craig also lived, in 1940 when he became Britain's press attaché to the high commission, and the two would have moved in the same literary circles of the time. Also included are two sheets of manuscript poetry in Craig's hand in ink and pencil, and a poem, Prologue, by Betjemen printed in the Irish Times, 22 November 1941. Continual Dew is Betjeman's second book of poetry and includes one of his most famous poems, Slough.

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Description

Small quarto. Original black cloth, titles and decoration to spine and front cover in gilt, all edges gilt. With the illustrated dust jacket by E. McKnight Kauffer.

Illustrations

Printed in black on pale blue paper, with 8pp printed on white tissue paper in black and red, with illustrations by Osbert Lancaster, de Cronin Hastings, Gabriel Pippet and others.

Condition

Spine gently rolled; a very good, bright copy in the jacket with creasing and nicks to extremities, short tears to spine ends, tape repair to verso.

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