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GURNEY, Ivor.

War's Embers.

And Other Verses.

London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd, 1919 Stock Code: 144912
£950.00
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First edition, first impression, inscribed by the dedicatee on the half-title "Muriel Osborn. From Marion Scott". This second and last volume to be published during Gurney's lifetime, after Severn and Somme (1917), is a wonderful association copy and an uncommon find.

Marion Margaret Scott (1877-1953) was a pioneering music critic, musicologist, advocate of contemporary music, and a close friend of the author, Ivor Gurney (1890-1937), whom she met in 1912, when he was a student at the Royal College of Music. "She encouraged him, and after he had enlisted in the army in 1915 corresponded with him at the front, and he sent her his poetry for safekeeping. She was instrumental in getting his first volume of poems, Severn and Somme, published in 1917, and championed his poetry in her presidential address to the Society of Women Musicians in December 1916, 'Contemporary British war-poetry, music, and patriotism', which was published in the Musical Times in March 1917" (ODNB).

Loosely inserted is a typed letter, dated 1 December 1988, signed by Michael Hurd, author of The Ordeal of Ivor Gurney (1978), addressed to the Surrey book dealer Veronica Watts. In his letter, Hurd confirms that the inscription, although penned in biro, is indeed in the hand of Marion Scott, "but I'm afraid I have no idea who Muriel Osborn was", and points out the rarity of this copy (and copies of this work in general). Muriel Osborn could be related to "E. B. (Edward Bolland) Osborn, a critic for the Morning Post, who was preparing an anthology of 'war poems, for the most part written in the field of action', to be called The Muse in Arms (1917)" (Blevins), which contained four of Gurney's poems, and to whom Marion, acting as Ivor's literary representative, showed some of Gurney's poetry in the autumn of 1916.

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Description

Octavo. Original drab boards, titles printed in black within red frame to paper spine label.

Condition

Slight wear to corners and joints, spine sunned, light dust-soiling,the binding otherwise sound and square, occasional light toning and foxing, else internally fresh; a very good copy.

Bibliography

Pamela Blevins, "Ivor Gurney & Marion Scott; Song of Pain and Beauty", 2008, p. 105.

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