Description

    Inscribed by the Poet to his Young Lover, and with an Apparently Unpublished Manuscript Poem by Him

    [Kelmscott Press]. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. The Love-Lyrics & Songs of Proteus. With The Love-Sonnets of Proteus...now reprinted in their full text with many sonnets omitted from the earlier editions. [London: Sold by Reeves & Turner], 1892. One of 300 paper copies printed by William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. Inscribed by the Poet on the front free endpaper: "Margaret Sackville/from/Wilfrid Scawen Blunt/[flourish]". On the second blank, he has hand-written a fourteen-line love sonnet, which is apparently unpublished. Small quarto. vii, 251 pp. Printed in red and black in Golden type. Decorative woodcut borders and initials. Full stiff vellum with yapp edges. Spine lettered in gilt. Green silk ties. With Blunt's bookplate on the front pastedown. Boards rubbed and soiled, ties missing, previous owner's bookplate under Blunt's inscription. A very good copy. This is the only Kelmscott Press book in which the initials are printed in red.
    Wilfrid Scawen Blunt (1840-1922) was a poet and essayist. Although married to Lady Anne Noel, he had many mistresses, including the much younger (17 years to his 58, at the time of their affair) Margaret Sackville (1881-1963). Blunt and Sackville got together at the behest of her mother, who had introduced them in the hope that he would dissuade her from publishing her somewhat risqué sonnets. Blunt and Sackville discovered a mutual interest in Arthurian Legend, and soon thereafter, each other. In the unpublished manuscript poem, he writes of the pain of love, and his wanting to resist it, but he eventually breaks down to embrace it (and, presumably, her). From the collection of John Carrol Collins.

    Clark Library, Kelmscott and Doves, pp. 13-14. Peterson, A3. Ransom, Private Presses, p. 325, no. 3. Sparling, 3. Tomkinson, p. 108, no, 3.


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    October, 2014
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