Description

    The Officina Bodoni Four Quartets, One of
    290 Copies Signed by T. S. Eliot

    [Officina Bodoni]. T. S. Eliot. Four Quartets. London: Faber & Faber, [1960]. Limited to 290 numbered copies printed by Giovanni Mardersteig on the hand-press of the Officina Bodoni in Verona and signed by T. S. Eliot on the colophon page (this copy being Number 124). Folio (11.75 x 7.9375 inches; 298 x 202 mm.). [4, blank], 53, [1], [1, blank], [1, colophon], [4, blank] pages. Printed in Dante type on paper made by Fratelli Magnani, Pescia. Printer's device in red on the colophon page. Publisher's quarter vellum, ruled in gilt, over green and yellow Putois marbled paper-covered boards. Smooth spine lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt, others uncut. Lower corners lightly bumped, affecting the last ten leaves of text as well, upper corners very lightly rubbed. Otherwise a fine, clean copy. Housed in the original matching marbled paper-covered cardboard slipcase. Slipcase foot of spine bumped, head of spine and corners lightly rubbed, some areas of paper loss on lower front and back panels. From the library of John Carroll Collins, with his booklabel on front pastedown.

    More Information:

    "The Four Quartets, the most important poem since Yeats' The Tower, and, as many think, of the century, were written over ten years ('Burnt Norton' in Collected Poems, 1935, 'East Coker', 1940; New York publication of Quartets, 1943, London, 1944). Although Eliot had long taken leave of modernism as a creed, and disapproved of poetry as a substitute for religion, he had retained the modern advances in technique evolved by him and Pound and the Quartets preserve the melodic line, the intricacy of thought and shape which is the high point of his technique applied to what are really religious and philosophical meditations...The Quartets indicated are late Beethoven and each has four 'movements'. 'Personally I like each one better than its predecessor and Little Gidding best of all. I may be very conceited, but Little Gidding strikes me as one of the best patriotic poems in the language' (T. S. Eliot in a letter [dated 20 August 1964 to Cyril Connolly])" (Connolly 100, 92).

    "In the ninth impression (July 1952) of the Faber & Faber edition of Four Quartets there was a misplaced break between two sections of 'Burnt Norton'. Although this mistake was corrected by a cancel leaf in half the impression of 10,000 copies, unfortunately Mardersteig was sent one of the incorrect copies to set his type from, and so the final five lines of Section IV appear as the first five lines of Section V. Eliot, knowing the Officina Bodoni's high reputation, said he had no need to see proofs" (Barr, The Officina Bodoni). An "Erratum" slip was prepared but not used, "in deference to the printer's wishes" (Gallup, Eliot).

    Barr, The Officina Bodoni, 59. Gallup, Eliot, A43c. Mardersteig 119.



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