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AUDEN, W. H.

Three Songs for St. Cecilia's Day.

New York City: privately printed [for Caroline Newton], 1941 Stock Code: 148611
£1,250.00
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Signed copy

First collected edition, first impression, one of 250 copies. Signed by the author on the title page. Signed copies are rare.

The poems were originally published in Harper's Bazaar and subsequently privately printed for Caroline Newton, the wealthy daughter of a well-known bibliophile. She had fallen in love with Auden and positioned herself as his benefactress, an arrangement Auden was possibly encouraged to accept by Chester Kallman, who was himself happy to live off Auden. Sometime in the early 1940s Newton invited the two collaborators and occasional lovers, then on very poor terms owing to Kallman's supposed infidelities, to stay at her house near Jamestown, Rhode Island. Christopher Isherwood joined them soon after and noted in his diary that "Caroline was a silly, snobbish, well-read woman with very little taste, often pathetic and kind-hearted, she was in love with Auden. The atmosphere was in the highest degree embarrassing."

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Description

Octavo. Single gathering cord-stitched in original blue card wrappers printed in black.

Condition

Fore edge of front and back wrappers slightly sunned, otherwise near-fine.

Bibliography

Bloomfield & Mendelson A25. Izzo, W. H. Auden Encyclopaedia, p. 184; Tippins, February House, p. 218

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