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Paris: Mercure de France, 1896 - Octavo. Original plain paper wrappers, titles to spine and front cover in black. Housed in a custom green cloth chemise and marbled solander box. With a two page ALS and the original envelope pasted to inner rear cover of the chemise. Wrappers a little soiled, spine skilfully repaired with glue and rear wrapper replaced to style, internally fine. An excellent copy. With French and English text. Heliogravure frontispiece with tissue guard by William Strang. First edition of Douglas's first collection of poetry, published in France during Wilde's imprisonment. It includes the infamous poem "Two Loves" on p. 104, which was mentioned at Oscar Wilde's gross indecency trial, ending with the line "I am the Love that dare not speak its name". Wilde dissuaded Douglas from his desire to dedicate the book to him. Together with an autograph letter signed by the author to Robert North Green-Armytage, lawyer and book collector, with Green-Armytage's bookplate pasted to the inner front cover of the chemise. Douglas maintained a correspondence with Green-Armytage about his poetry and the Oscar Wilde circle; this letter, dated 18 July 1918, discusses Douglas's suppression of certain poems, which, Douglas explains, "were written so much under the Wilde influence that (although written from a more spiritual and ideal point of view) they are liable to have an evil interpretation put on them". For that reason, he has always refused permission to have them reprinted. Douglas goes on to discuss at some length the recent political volte face of his friend Herbert Moore Pim (1883–1950). An enthusiastic supporter of Irish republicanism, in 1916 Pim had founded a Belfast literary magazine, The Irishman, which published Douglas's poetry, and in the same year attempted to muster Irish Volunteers at for the Easter rising. But in June 1918 Pim had abruptly resigned from Sinn Féin, reverted to unionism and advocated conscription. Despite Douglas's reported utter disgust at Pim's abandonment of his principles, the two men remained friends. In 1919, when Douglas established a weekly paper called Plain English, he appointed Pim assistant editor. "Douglas was gaoled for libel after accusing Winston Churchill of disreputable dealings with Jewish financiers; Pim wrote a sonnet on his imprisonment. Douglas and Pim subsequently quarrelled over their respective merits as poets; the copy of New Poems and a Preface (1927) which Pim presented to Queen's University, Belfast, has the sonnet on Douglas crossed out and denunciations of him scribbled on the endpapers" (ODNB). [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2015-10-11           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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