For the Time Being.London: Faber and Faber, 1958 Stock Code: 147263
First UK edition, fifth impression, familiarly inscribed by the author using his first name reserved for friends on the title page: "To Bill from Wystan", his printed name struck through. This volume comprises the long poems For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio and The Sea and the Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare's The Tempest.
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.
Loosely inserted in this copy is a printed slip from Louisiana State University regarding an English Placement Test for freshman English students. For the Time Being was first published in the UK in 1945 and originally published in the US in 1944.
Octavo. Original pale green cloth, spine lettered in blue, bottom edge untrimmed. With dust jacket.
Light offsetting to endpapers, otherwise bright and clean. A near-fine copy, in very good dust jacket, spine panel toned, else bright, short closed tear to foot of spine, small chip to head of spine and rear flap fold, not price-clipped.
Bloomfield and Mendelson A26b.
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