Letters from India.
With a Note by Mrs. Alun Lewis and a Preface by A. L. Rowse.Cardiff: Penmark Press Limited, 1946 Stock Code: 110203
NotesFirst edition, limited to 500 numbered copies of which the first 100 were specially bound in morocco. Collection of letters sent by Lewis from what was to be his final wartime posting to Burma; "It is astonishing how this selection of fragments from letters to his wife and to his parents makes a unified whole, a book with a theme. The letters read like a chronicle of a pilgrimage, undertaken in search of a fatal secret. The strange thing about the book is the impression it gives of the inevitability of the final result; not that the poet himself is aware of this-he is conscious only of the overwhelming fascination of the quest, of his danger too, of course; but we who now read the story that he has recorded so faithfully, are disturbed by a realisation that the writer is being carried inexorably nearer to "the ultimate purposes", to the problem which perhaps has only one answer. This 'single poetic theme of Life and Death' One cannot read these letters without being deeply moved by the author's integrity by his intense sympathy also for his own men, as an infantry officer, for the new peoples he met, the starving, frightened peasants of India" (Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, 1946-8, p.328). Lewis committed "hours before the start of his first patrol against the Japanese at Bawli Bazar on the north Burma coast" (ODNB).
Octavo. Original green morocco, titles to spine and front board gilt, all edges gilt.
Facsimile frontispiece of a letter from Lewis.
Spine and top edge of front board sunned, light spotting to boards, endpapers lightly foxed. An excellent copy.
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