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ACTON, Harold, & Ch'en Shih-Hsiang (trans.)

Modern Chinese Poetry.

London: Duckworth, 1936 Stock Code: 136704
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First edition, first impression, in a nice example of the scarce jacket, of Harold Acton's English-language anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry. It includes his introductory survey, and specimens of the works of Ch'en Meng-chia, Chou Tso-jen, Feng Fei-ming, Ho Chi-fang, Hsu Chih-mo, Kuo Mo-jo, Li Kwang-t'ien, Lin Keng, Pien Chih-lin, Shao Hsun-mei, Shen Ts'ung-wen, Sun Ta-yu, T'ai Wang-shu, Wen Yi-tuo, and Yu Ping-po. Acton's co-editor Ch'en Shih-Hsiang (19121971) was professor of Chinese and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

This copy includes two letters laid in between Neil Ritchie, Acton's bibliographer, and the novelist Anthony Powell, who had been an employee of Duckworth at the time of the publication of Modern Chinese Poetry. The first is a carbon of Ritchie's letter to Powell, dated 26 April 1985, asking for information on the print run and dust jacket (which Ritchie had not seen): "No record of the print run appears to survive. From your Duckworth experience could you hazard a guess as to the number printed?", and updates Powell on Acton's activities: "Harold, eternally young, has been entertaining the Prince and Princess of Wales " Powell's reply of 7 May 1985, a typed letter signed with an autograph note at the end, notes that he possesses a copy, but without the jacket: "I should have thought a printing order of a thousand would have been the absolute maximum. There was an imbecile accountant there, who destroyed some of the early records, but even so publishers are not very good at being able to produce these."

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Octavo. Original blue cloth, gilt titles in English to spine and in Chinese characters to front board, top edge gilt, fore edge untrimmed. With dust jacket. Together with: 1) a carbon copy of a letter, single sheet folded, from Neil Ritchie to Anthony Powell; 2) a typed letter signed, single sheet folded, from Anthony Powell to Neil Ritchie on headed paper (The Chantry Nr. Frome Somerset BA11 3LJ); 3) a blue paper envelope, addressed to: Neil Ritchie, Esqre, Case Giardo, 50020 Lucolena in Chanti, Firenze, Italy.


Melbourne bookseller's ticket to front pastedown. Spine slightly cocked, light foxing to fore and bottom edges, offsetting to endpapers, otherwise clean and unmarked. A very good copy, square and tight, in the original price-clipped and slightly foxed dust jacket, spine a touch sunned, with shallow chips to head of spine and tips.


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