Songs of a Navvy. First Edition (1911)
Book ID: 66273
Songs of a Navvy. London: Published by P. MacGill, Windsor, . Pp 8, . Portrait photograph of the Author. Publisher’s maroon wrappers printed in black, floral device to top right and bottom left corners. Light wear & fading to wrappers, contents pages in good condition.
‘These Verses are Dedicated to my Pick & Shovel.’
Patrick MacGill – born Donegal in 1889 – became known as the ‘Navvy Poet’ when a slim little volume of poetry which he had mostly written when working on the railways in Scotland and which he called ‘Gleanings from a Navvy’s Scrapbook’ came to the notice of the literary critics in Britain. His poetry, much of it based on his own experience as a navvy, reflected his growing preoccupation with the poor and the downtrodden and those navvies who, like himself, toiled in the muck to build civilisation but lived on the outside of society.
This work, his second volume of poetry was well received. In one of his letters MacGill refers to the fact that “the book is selling like wild fire, London is gone mad on it”