New York: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1928. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 38 of 500 copies of the limited edition, octavo size, 215 pp., in original glassine and with slipcase. Fine / good +. Item #20082909
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) was one of Britain's most influential Victorian novelists and poets; D. H. Lawrence wrote a study of Hardy, and he was the basis for the character of Edward Driffield in W. Somerset Maugham's "Cakes and Ale". He wrote of tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances and was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition to being a writer of prose, he was a prolific poet; from 1898 until his death in 1928 Hardy published eight volumes of poetry, with about one thousand poems published in his lifetime (n. b., above information from Wiki and the Poetry Foundation website).
This volume was published posthumously, shortly after Hardy's death, the same year as the British trade edition. A short note printed above the introduction, states "This volume, though prepared for the press, would have undergone further revisions, had the author lived to issue it on the birthday of which he left the number uninserted below." And, indeed as Hardy wrote in the introduction, seeming to sense that his end was near, "[t[his being probably my last appearance on the literary stage..." It seems that the end of life was much on his mind, for the final poem, entitled "He Resolves to Say No More", begins "O my soul, keep the rest unknown! It is too like a sound of moan When the charnel-eyed Pale Horse has nighed: Yea, None shall gather what I hide!"
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter parchment with gilt lettering and decorations, boards with green paper, on the front board is stamped a small, decorative black rectangle with Hardy's printed signature in gilt, fore- and bottom edges rough-cut, limitation page at the front, this no. 38 of 500 copies of the large-paper edition, title page in blue and black, contains one hundred and five poems; octavo size (9 5/8" by 6 5/8"), pagination: [1-2, limitation page and verso] [i-iv] v-xii, 1-184. In the original glassine, and with the original slipcase, cardboard covered with green paper, white paper label mounted to one side with lettering and decorative border in green, limitation number "38" written on the label.
___CONDITION: Fine overall, the boards clean with the gilt bright, without wear, perfectly straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a hint of toning and light bumping to the head and tail of the spine, the parchment slightly toned, else fine. The glassine wrap a bit better than good, with overall wear including a rectangular chip out of the bottom of the rear panel. The slipcase very good, strong and sturdy, light overall wear and sunning to both sides. A fine copy of Hardy's last book of poems, with the scarce glassine and original publisher's slipcase.
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard shipping charge does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.