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    One of 110 Copies Signed by Field Marshal Montgomery and the Artist, Stephen Gooden

    [General Sir Bernard Montgomery, contributor]. Poems from the Desert. Verses by Members of the Eighth Army. London: George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., [1944]. First edition, one of 100 copies signed by Montgomery on the limitation page on the verso of the half-title (copy number 49). Octavo. [46], [2, blank] pages. With inserted frontispiece signed by Stephen Gooden in pencil and dated 1944. Bound for the publisher by Leighton-Straker in quarter blue levant morocco over cream cloth boards, symbol of the Eighth Army in blue morocco onlay and gilt on the front board, spine lettered in gilt, original plain cardboard slipcase (ink title on slipcase spine). One joint on slipcase split (yet still solid), minor rubbing to binding, spine just a bit toned, light foxing to cloth boards, a few spots to rear endleaves. Still, a handsome, fine copy.
    This book consists of poems written by soldiers of the British Eighth Army whilst on duty in the Western Desert. The twenty-seventh poem has unique history. Written on a scrap of paper, it fluttered into the hands of a soldier sheltering in a slit trench, during the battle of El Agheila. The poem, nine stanzas of four lines each, author anonymous, begins, "Stay with me, God. The night is dark,/The night is cold: My little spark/Of courage dies. The night is long;/Be with me, God, and make me strong..."

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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