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HOPKINS, Gerard Manley.


Now first published edited with notes by Robert Bridges Poet Laureate.

London, Humphrey Milford, 1918 Stock Code: 117738
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First edition, with the rare glassine jacket, one of 750 copies only, of which the bibliography states 50 were given away prior to publication (it took until 1928 to sell them all). Trade copies were issued in a plain paper jacket priced at 12s. 6d., but this original unpriced glassine may well designate one of the 50 copies issued prior to sale. Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) published very few poems in his lifetime and destroyed many of his early writings in a crisis of faith - he had been received into the Roman Catholic faith by Cardinal Newman himself in 1866, and in 1868 made a bonfire of his juvenilia. It was only decades after his death that this "sensitive, handsome, and almost complete small edition" (ODNB), collected and largely designed by Hopkins's friend and admirer Robert Bridges, was published. Contemporary reviews were mixed though some were stridently positive, such as Theodore Maynard: "A shy mid-Victorian priest, writing while Tennyson, Swinburne and Patmore led their various schools, was more modern than the most freakish modern would dare to be... He is the last word in technical development". Sales were slow and it had only just sold out by 1930, when "a second edition was called for by the poetry public who were demanding new, difficult poetic voices. Advocated especially by I. A. Richards, F. R. Leavis, William Empson, and Michael Roberts, so that his poems appeared in general and modernistic anthologies, followed by university and school syllabuses, Hopkins had suddenly become a popular modern poet". Notwithstanding the long time coming, this single volume now ranks as one of the most important in influential poetry collections published in the century.

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Octavo. Original cream cloth-backed blue boards, spine lettered in black on a paper label. With the original glassine. Housed in a dark blue quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.


With 2 photogravure portraits and 2 double-page plates.


Gift inscription to front pastedown. Trivial nicks to tail of spine, some minor foxing within, but an excellent copy, with the fragile glassine only a little creased and bearing a few tiny chips at the edges. Superb.


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