FREEMAN, Kathleen.

The Work and Life of Solon.

With a Translation of his Poems.

Cardiff: The University of Wales Press Board, 1926 Stock Code: 142281
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First edition, first impression, presentation copy of the author's first book, a study of the Athenian statesman and poet Solon, inscribed by the author to her long-term partner, at the very start of their acquaintance, on the front free endpaper, "Lilian M.C. Clopet, from Kathleen Freeman July 14th, 1926". This work, "considered essential reading", is uncommonly found in the jacket or inscribed, this inscription being one of the best conceivable (Hall).

From 1929 Freeman lived together with the recipient, Liliane Marie Catherine Clopet (1901-1987), a GP and fellow author, and dedicated all her novels to her from 1929 onwards. This early inscription, with its slight misspelling of Liliane's name, suggests an attempt to woo her three years before their relationship began. The largely unopened leaves, however, indicate that it was perhaps not initially well-received. Their loving relationship, once established, would last until Freeman's death in 1959.

Freeman (1897-1959) was a classical scholar who attended the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire, Cardiff, where she studied with Professor Gilbert Norwood, to whom this work is dedicated. She was appointed Lecturer in Greek at the university in 1919, leaving the role in 1946. Freeman was passionate about making Greek ideas accessible to the public through translation and consequently published 14 popular works on the subject between 1926 and 1954. Her prolificacy attracted several accusations of academic unreliability, accusations which have now been roundly disproved. During the Second World War Freeman delivered lectures on Greece to the Ministry of Information and soldiers based in South Wales and published a selection of translations from the Greek on totalitarianism entitled It Has All Happened Before: What the Greeks Thought of their Nazis (1941). Alongside her academic works Freeman published poetry and fiction under the pseudonyms Stuart Mary Wick, Clare St. Donat and Caroline Cory. She additionally wrote a highly successful series of detective novels under the pseudonym Mary Fitt.

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Octavo. Original dark red cloth, titles to spine in gilt, frame blocked in blind to covers, largely unopened, fore and bottom edge untrimmed. With dust jacket.


Board edges rubbed, touch of wear to tips, light foxing to book block edges and outer leaves, else contents clean; a very good copy in the remarkably bright jacket, spine lightly browned, minor creasing and nicks to top edge.


Edith Hall, How to Conceal a Female Scholar; or, the Invisible Classicist of Cardiff, accessed 22/07/2020.


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