A Rare Copy of Swinburne Poems Illustrated & Inscribed by Harry Clarke (1928)

Author: Algernon Charles Swinburne

Book ID: 64294

Price: 5,950.00

Selected Poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne, with Illustrations and Decorations by Harry Clarke and an Introduction by Humbert Wolfe. London: John Lane The Bodley Head Ltd., 1928. First Edition. London: The Bodley Head, 1928 & New York: Dodd, Mead & Co. First Edition. Pp xxvi, 217, uncut, top edge in gilt. Magenta cloth boards buckram, with title and decoration in gilt on upper cover and on spine. In publisher’s matching dust jacket. Light wear to head of spine of jacket, otherwise a very good copy. Housed in collector’s solander box. With 12 photogravure plates (11 titled and listed in contents).

Presentation copy Inscribed:  “For my friend Lennox Robinson from Harry Clarke. Page 52 has an illustration intended for reproduction but not reproduced in any copy other than this and my own copy. March 7 1929” 

Clarke’s note is referring to an illustration which accompanies the poem Aholibah. This was omitted from other editions as judged to be too erotic. In his introduction Humbert Wolfe deliberately disassociates himself from Clarke’s visual interpretation of Swinburne’s work. Wolfe, an Italian-born British poet, was one of the most popular British authors of the 1920s.

Harry Clarke was one of Ireland’s greatest, and most controversial, modern artists. Emerging during the later phases of the literary and dramatic movement known as the  Celtic Revival, he joined the ranks of literary greats W. B. Yates, J. M. Synge and Sean O’Casey in shaping the international reputation of Ireland as a modern sovereign state.

Lennox Robinson was a major force in the Irish Literary Renaissance and Abbey Theatre his entire life.


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