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OXFORD POETRY 1915. Edited by G.D.H. C.[ole] and T.W. E.[arp]. [With:] Sheldon (Gilbert) Verses. Privately published (by Lilian Sheldon), 1932, a few faint spots, pp. 46, crown 8vo, slightly later green cloth, discolouration from water-staining to inner margin of both boards, bookplate of Geoffrey A.M. Whittall and his ownership inscription, good
B.H. Blackwell 1915 - FIRST EDITION, pp. viii, 72, crown 8vo, original quarter parchment with blue sides, printed label to upper board and backstrip, the borders a little faded, backstrip label browned and chipped (lacking first letter), corners a trifle bumped, untrimmed, manuscript poem by Gilbert Sheldon to flyleaf ('Leafield Wireless Station'), two further poems (1 Ts. and 1 Ms.) laid in, good. Tolkien's contribution, 'Goblin Feet', appears on pp. 64-5. The poem was written in April of 1915 for Edith Bratt, and is a somewhat characteristic piece of 'mature juvenilia' - although rather twee, and later disowned by Tolkien who expressed great dislike for it. Other contributors include the editors, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Aldous Huxley. The manuscript poem by Gilbert Sheldon on the flyleaf is possibly in his holograph - it contains one variation to the published version, and unlike the latter is dated (to Nov. 1919); it concerns a wireless station that was used intensively during the war, although this recent function is not explicit in the poem (despite its date). The posthumously published volume of poetry by the same includes a number of war poems, though Sheldon - suffering the effects of childhood polio - did not fight, as well as a number of poems concerning local events in Oxfordshire and Berkshire that form a counterpoint to those reflecting Sheldon's determined love of travel. This copy bears a tipped-in note signed by Lilian Sheldon, presenting it 'in memory of the author' at Christmas 1932 - the recipient is unnamed and is not he of the bookplate, given that her note carries on its verso his record of having purchased 'this little jewel' and mentions his having re-bound it. Neither of the poems laid in to the volume of Oxford Poetry are featured in this volume, and the one in manuscript does not match the hand of the one known to be by him; it is closer, but not close enough to confidently attribute, to the hand of Lilian Sheldon. Lilian Sheldon made a notable contribution to embryological research alongside Alice Johnson at Newnham College, Cambridge - she continued to work as a lecturer at the College until 1898, when she joined her brother in London (and then in Lymstone, Devon) joining him in his research of architectural and topographical matters; she was one of the earliest female drivers in the country and performed that function in her work for the YMCA in Birmingham during the Great War. Gilbert Sheldon, the publication of whose 'Transition from Roman Britain to Christian England' (1932) carried a memoir of the author by Walter de la Mare, is also notable for his association with another pioneering woman, the Oxford-based Canadian novelist and theologian Lily Dougall - with whom he collaborated on a slender volume of verse, 'Arcades ambo', published by Blackwell in 1919. (Hammond & Anderson B1a)
      [Bookseller: Blackwell's Rare Books ABA ILAB BA]
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