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GRAVES, Robert.

Goliath and David.

London: Chiswick Press, [1916] Stock Code: 109934
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Inscribed to Henry Newbolt by Graves's father on behalf of the author

First edition, first impression, presentation copy, inscribed by Graves's father on behalf of the author to Henry Newbolt (1862-1938), the English poet and writer, on the title page: "Sir Henry Newbolt, from his admirer the author, via his father Alfred Perceval Graves. March 9th, 1917. Captain, 3rd Batt., Royal Welch Fusiliers". This copy, sent at the behest of a shell-shocked Robert Graves to Henry Newbolt, best known then, and infamous now, for his patriotic "Vitaï Lampada" poem of the 1890s comparing warfare to a game of cricket, with its much-satirised refrain "Play up! Play up! and play the game!", is particularly poignant. At the time of publication, February 1917, Graves was recuperating from bronchitis, first at Somerville College, Oxford, and then at Harlech, where he wrote to Sassoon, who had helped him edit and distribute the book, on 26 March 1917: "Dear old Sassons, please forgive my not writing: it has been one of the worst symptoms of my late collapse that I haven't been able to make up my mind to start or finish the most pressing things, and the correspondence about Goliath and David has been most exacting". Perhaps as a consequence of his weakened state, presentation copies from Graves himself are rare. Two hundred copies of this early privately printed work, the author's second publication, were produced in late 1916 and distributed early in 1917.

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Octavo, pp. 20. Original plain red wrappers.


Wrappers a little creased and faded to edges, a few faint spots to contents. An excellent copy.


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