Paul Verlaine.London: Constable & Company, 1921 Stock Code: 139526
First edition, first impression, presentation copy of the Nicolson's first book, inscribed by the author on the front pastedown, "For William Rothenstein, with all thanks from Harold Nicolson. See p. 213"; with Rothenstein's bookplate to the front free endpaper. On p. 213 is an account of how Rothenstein "saddened by the plight of Paul Verlaine... had foreseen that if Verlaine could limp over to London he would return with pounds sterling and a prospect of more to follow", and inveigled Arthur Symons to arrange for Verlaine to come to England to deliver a series of lecture.
Harold Nicolson (1886-1968) was a diplomat and Bloomsbury author who married Vita Sackville-West in 1913 (more an "open" than a "lavender" marriage, since although both Vita and Harold continued to have homosexual relationships with other people throughout their lives, they were also devoted to one another and had two sons). He served in the foreign office during the First World War (being selected to hand the Germans Britain's declaration of war in 1914), and went on to have a career in the foreign service and in politics. He was encouraged to write by his wife and this biography of the French poet Paul Verlaine is his first publication - the first of several studies of literary figures including Tennyson, Byron, Swinburne and Sainte-Beuve, as well as a political novel Public Faces (1932).
Octavo. Original black cloth, titles gilt to spine and front, edges untrimmed.
Spine sunned and slightly cocked, contents clean and unmarked. A very good copy.
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