THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


101 Ronald Firbank 1886-1926
The Flower Beneath the Foot
Manuscript, 5 volumes, ca. 1920-1921
Firbank's personal and literary flamboyance made him a legendary figure in intellectual and bohemian circles. Considered innovative in his use of dialogue, narrative technique, verbal wit and eccentric vocabulary, Firbank originally conceived The Flower Beneath the Foot, one of his last novels and, in part, a roman-à-clef, during his travels in North Africa in 1920. He compiled most of the five notebooks of images, character sketches, drawings and bits of dialogue while traveling in Italy the following year, relying extensively on his familiar religious and English court themes. The drafting of the actual text of the novel took place primarily in Italy and France, and the work was published in 1923 by Grant Richards at Firbank's expense. These notebooks are from the library of Jack Harris Samuels.
Bequest of Mollie Harris Samuels

Collections and Treasures