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Hawthorn and Lavender: Songs and Lavender

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Hawthorn and Lavender: Songs and Lavender by HENLEY W E [Henry Head] (1899)

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Author: HENLEY W E [Henry Head]
Title: Hawthorn and Lavender: Songs and Lavender. [inscribed and corrected]
Year: 1899
Publisher: William Heinemann
Place: London
Dust Jacket: No
Signed: Yes
Price: £650
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Added under Signed and inscribed  

Inscribed and corrected proof sheets - apparently an unrecorded, intermediate state in a lovely presentation binding by the Guild of Women-Binders, with albumen photographs of W E Henley tipped in.

Superb signed binding by the ‘Guild of Women-Binders’, a beautiful art nouveau design of twelve bent-stemmed flowers, perhaps poppies, to both covers and the title in gilt to the spine. Rubbing to extremities and discolouration to the calf around the edges of the boards, probably sunning. Binding signed on the turn-in at the tail of the front pastedown. Above is the armorial bookplate of the recipient of the book from Henley, Henry Head, and opposite a twentieth century bookplate of R.G.E. Sandbach. Green marbled endpapers, offsetting from turn ins, and faded with some cracking along the inner hinge. On the title page is inscribed ‘Working - W.E.H. to Henry Head. 15/11/99’. This single fascicle has come loose from the binding with a couple of separately detached leaves and two sellotape repairs along the gutter of internal leaves. There is a single manuscript correction to poem VII, changing the final word of the first stanza to ‘spilt’ in Henley’s hand. Two albumen photographs of Henley in middle age have been mounted opposite the title page. The text comprises an undated drop-head title followed by ‘Envoy’ printed on the verso and 24 poems, concluding with the date.

There appears to be some ambiguity as to the exact status of this proof issue. Unlike the example held at Delaware (catalogued in exemplary fashion) this example is not dated on the verso of the title page. Again, unlike the Delaware copy and those held elsewhere, this copy has no reference to ‘February-July 1899’ on the verso of the title page but instead ‘February-August, 1899’ printed at the end of the final poem, XXIV. It would seem, therefore, to represent a second phase of proof production, again presumably printed by Heinemann though the publisher is not mentioned in this state and bound here as a special presentation copy and given to Henley’s friend the neurologist Henry Head. Henley clearly specifies this as a ‘working’ copy in his presentation note and therefore regarded it as a preliminary draft still. This presentation copy precedes by a month Henley's presentation copy to Austin Dobson. Only a full textual comparison will reveal how much this state of the text varies from what came before and after in the printed first edition.
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