8vo., pp. , 28; , of which the first and last blanks are used as pastedowns; original brown boards, tan cloth spine, white printed label on front cover; spine bumped and slightly frayed at head, otherwise a very good copy; cloth folding-box.
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First edition, no. 125 of 165 unsigned copies from a total impression of 200, printed by John Rodker at the Ovid Press in Belsize Park Gardens.
When Pound, still in his early twenties, arrived in London in 1908, he found a city sunk in Edwardian desuetude, ripe for literary experimentation. During his twelve years of residence the poet, while lecturing on medieval Romance literature at the Regent Street Polytechnic, played a central role in launching new writers, steering the course of little magazines, reporting to the more established journals on what was happening in the arts, and striking up congenial friendships with leading spirits (sharing quarters with Yeats, and ‘discovering’ Eliot).
But he was depressed by the conduct of the War, and afterwards he grew disillusioned with ‘wringing lilies from the acorn’ in England, once again recoiling from that ‘tawdry cheapness’ which ‘the age demanded’. He headed to the Paris of Stein and Fitzgerald, leaving Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, one of the great poems of modernism, as his sardonic gesture of farewell.
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THE SMALL OCTAVO WORKS POPE, Alexander.
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A fine set of the small octavo Works - Pope's preferred format - including the scarce supplementary Vol II. Part II.
Windsor-Forest. To the Right Honourable George Lord Lansdown …
First edition of Pope’s second separately published poem, preceded by An Essay on Criticism in 1711. Written in the tradition that young poets begin with pastoral verse, Windsor-Forest, with its epigraph from Virgil’s Eclogues, was the poem that first won Swift’s regard and laid foundations for the ‘most celebrated literary friendship of the earlier eighteenth century’ (Oxford DNB).