Sonnets.London: The Academy Publishing Company, 1909 Stock Code: 134451
First edition, first impression. Inscribed by the author "For Mrs Watts Dunton, June 1918. Alfred Bruce Douglas" on the half-title. The recipient, Clara Watts Dunton, née Reich (18761938), was the widow of Theodore Watts Dunton (18321914), an influential pre-Raphaelite critic, poet, and close friend of Algernon Swinburne. Watts had control of Swinburn's finances and helped him to recover from alcoholism. Watts-Dunton married Clara Reich in November 1905, following an extensive courtship throughout which she visited their home at The Pines in Putney, developing a friendship with both men. This work was inscribed four years after Theodore's death, suggesting that Clara remained in contact with Theodore's literary coterie. In 1922 Clara published The Home Life of Swinburne, a first-person account of her observations on the poet's domestic habits and routines in response to Edmund Gosse's "portrayal of Watts-Dunton as a kind of benign domestic tyrant, stifling Swinburne's creativity" in his 1917 biography of Swinburne (ODNB).
Octavo. Original grey boards, titles to front cover in gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed, grey endpapers.
Slight wear to spine ends and tips, tiny chips to spine ends, boards faintly browned and soiled, light offsetting to endpapers, very occasional foxing to contents; a very good copy.
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