Poems of the Past & Present.London, Chapman and Hall, 1910 Stock Code: 131465
NotesFirst edition, first impression, in a variant purple cloth, of Radclyffe Hall's third published work, this copy with a pleasing association, bearing a Christmas gift inscription of Lady Maud "Emerald" Cunard (mother of Nancy) to Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland, in pencil on the first blank, "Xmas 1910 Violet from Emerald C", and with the Rex Whistler designed bookplate of Violet's son-in-law Duff Cooper to the front pastedown.
Poems of the Past & Present is dedicated to Hall's lover, Mabel Batten, and memorialises their relationship; the first poem, "A Dedication" gives thanks for Batten's love, and the final poem, "Postscript" acknowledges her role in editing and compiling the poems. Shortly after the work was published Batten's husband George died, allowing the pair to live together in a de facto marriage until Batten's sudden death six years later. The work is explicitly romantic; the poems of the present celebrating the "couple's mutual devotion" and the poems of the past referring "most specifically to a sequence of Sapphic verses called the 'Fruit of the Nispero'" (Dellamora, p. 26).
Octavo. Original purple cloth, titles to spine and front cover in gilt within gilt frames, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, pink silk page marker, partially unopened.
With 3 pp. of publisher's adverts at end.
Pencil notation to rear free endpaper. Spine sunned, front board a little bowed, rubbing to extremities, top edge dust toned, foxing to edges and occasionally to margins, light soiling to first few pages; a very good copy.
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