CROSBY, Harry.

Red Skeletons.

Illustrated by Alastair.

Paris: Editions Narcisse, 1927 Stock Code: 148838
£3,500.00
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De Bosschère's inscribed presentation copy

First edition, presentation copy inscribed on the half-title to the Belgian author and artist "For Jean Bosschère, from Harry" with a doodle of a black sun; number 345 of 333 copies on vergé de Hollande Van Gelder Zonen, from a total edition of 370 copies.

Jean de Bosschère (1878-1953) fled Belgium at the start of the First World War and moved to London where he met writers such as Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot, and several London publishers for whom he illustrated numerous books in the 1920s and '30s. Among these were the poems of Oscar Wilde and Charles Baudelaire, and erotic classics by Aristophanes, Ovid, Strato and Apuleius.

The rarity of Red Skeletons, Crosby's, second published published poetry collection, is due to the later disavowal of its author, who "bought up all the copies... he had not sold or given away - eighty-four in number - and took them to Ermenoville, where he built a bonfire of eighty copies (around which the Crosbys danced a funeral jig) and shotgunned the rest till not a word was legible" (Wolff).

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Description

Quarto. Original wrappers, titles and border in red and black to front, border and illustration in red and black to rear. Housed in a custom black morocco-backed folding case.

Illustrations

9 colour plates by Alastair, printed in red and black.

Condition

Small chip to foot of spine, wrappers lightly soiled and darkened, else sound, internally fresh and clean; a very good copy indeed.

Bibliography

Minkoff A4.

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