Seven Poems & Two Translations. Alfred Lord TENNYSON.
Seven Poems & Two Translations.

Seven Poems & Two Translations.

Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1902. Small Quarto. Bound in original full limp vellum, with Doves Bindery ticket to the rear turn-in, and spine lettered in gilt, top edges trimmed, others uncut. 55pp. Printed in red and black Doves Type. Vellum slightly darkened, small crease to the spine along the lettering, and some creasing to the lower extremities of the front and back covers; page edges a bit darkened, and rear paste-down rippling, but overall a Very Good copy. One of 325 paper copies. Item #7

'Tennyson' was conceived as one of a series of trial pieces before Cobden-Sanderson and Walker embarked on the larger projects of printing the Bible and 'Paradise Lost'. Printing was delayed, however, by ‘so many lions in the path’. Cobden-Sanderson was forced to shelve work on the book until he received permission from Macmillan, who held the publishing rights to the poems, and from Hallam Tennyson, whose service as Governor-General of Australia prevented a timely response. When the book was completed, Cobden-Sanderson, in his wonted pedantic way, thought that it had fallen short of its mark: May 8, 1902. 6.30 a.m. “I have been awake for some time, in a somewhat depressed, restless condition, tired, despondent. Yesterday I ‘gathered’ the sheets of Tennyson. The booklet seems unexpectedly thin and fragmentary- perhaps that is an element in my despondency: what a trifle, and what a mistake.” However, he was able to acknowledge the ways in which the book did succeed: “The book is primarily the presentment of seven beautiful poems, each separated from the other by an interval of space, and worthily beginning, each independently, at the top of the page. Nothing superfluous is added; the appeal is direct to the imagination. But what an age it is! The first question will be the ‘get up’ and make of the book itself- its baldness probably; perhaps even its ‘padding’ as they will call it, of blank pages. I aim at the idea and the ideal, but I never get beyond the ‘collector’. And the collector, bless him, is an idealist too- the only sincere one at the present moment.”.

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