Edited with an introduction and notes by Daniel Jones.New York: New Directions Books, 1971 Stock Code: 140659
First US edition, first printing, the editor Daniel Jones's own copy with the publisher's note to that effect, inscribed by him to his wife on the front free endpaper, "To Irene, with love from Dan. 23rd November 1971". Also included are a long autograph letter signed from poet Edith Sitwell to Daniel Jones, dated 22 March 1954 and concerning the music Jones composed for Under Milk wood, and the possibility of a German translation of the play by Erich Fried, and two autograph post cards to Jones from Dylan Thomas's other best friend Vernon Watkins, dated 1946 and 1949, one sending love to Dylan.
Daniel Jones (1912-1993), the classical composer who created song settings for Under Milk Wood, studied English literature at Swansea University. His memoir My Friend Dylan Thomas was published in 1977. "Dylan's first intellectual awakening came not in school but through his friendship with Daniel Jones ... The two boys made their first ventures into writing and composing, and began to formulate literary and musical ambitions. Jones - who became a distinguished composer whose work included thirteen symphonies, No. 4 in memory of Dylan Thomas - was the closest of a group of lifelong Swansea friends, a number of whom shared similar aspirations" (Davies, pp. 11-12). Thomas's Collected Poems was first published in 1952; published posthumously, this expanded edition, which was published in the UK the same year, contains an additional 102 works and 26 poems written by Thomas before he was 16.
Sitwell's letter concerning the German translator Freid is most interesting: "It is he who really introduced Dylan's poetry to me. I spoke to Dylan about his translations of his poems which were quite uncannily good... he is the only person writing in German who comes near Dylan's way of using words. When I heard his Under Milk Wood I was really amazed he made it even sound like the original, which, believe me, is almost like a miracle... Do please see that Erich gets the rights as it is really a service to Dylan too." She also mentions "how much we liked your songs", presumably referring to the music Jones composed for Under Milk Wood.
Octavo. Original brown cloth, title to spine in black and silver. With dust jacket.
A little foxing to edges and endpapers, a very good, sound copy in the bright dust jacket, with a little toning and rubbing.
James A. Davies, Dylan Thomas's Swansea, Gower and Laugharne, Anthony Rowe, 2014.
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