London: Frederick Etchells & Hugh Macdonald [printed by the Chiswick Press], 1930. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 7 of 150 copies signed by T.S. Eliot (total edition 450), folio size, 44 pp., in a custom porfolio. Near fine. Item #20012806
While Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) may be best known for his monumental "A Dictionary of the English Language" or via Boswell's "Life of Johnson", he was, and wrote, so much more. The two poems contained herein, "London: A Poem" and "The Vanity of Human Wishes" were both published prior to the "Dictionary", and "Vanity" was the first book published with Johnson's name appearing on the title page.
"Vanity" was considered to be Johnson's greatest poem by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965), himself one of the greatest poets of the 20th century and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Due to Eliot's high regard for Johnson and these poems, the nine-page introductory essay in this volume was written by him, and the first 150 copies, of which this is no. 7, were signed by him. This one of the "Haslewood Books", fine press books which were produced between 1924 and 1931.
___DESCRIPTION: Tan paper over boards, green paper label mounted onto the front board with black lettering, signed by T.S. Eliot on the limitation page (following the title page); an edition of 450 copies, of which 150 copies were printed on Kentish Rag paper and signed by Eliot; folio size (13.75" by 8 5/8"), pagination: [1-6] 7-44. Housed in a custom portfolioof blue paper with a gold cloth spine, blue paper spine label stamped "London" in gilt, inside are four folding flaps of heavy ivory paper to securely hold the volume.
___CONDITION: Near fine overall, with a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright with most signatures being unopened, the only prior owner markings being in pencil towards the top of the front free endpaper (what appears to be a name, then the word "signed" followed by "4.50"); the binding is mostly clean with a few light spots of soil, a professional has restored the head and tail of the spine and the corners, all of which are now solid. The custom portfolio is new, in fine condition.
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