THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


107 W. H. Auden 1907-1973
Poems
[n.p.] S.H.S. [i.e. Stephen H. Spender] 1928
The poet's first book, in wrappers, with the autograph of the novelist William Plomer on the fly-leaf, is from the library of Jack Harris Samuels. Despite the note on the verso of the dedication page indicating that "about forty five copies" were printed, Spender in World Within World recalled that he printed "an edition of thirty copies"; fewer than twenty copies are in fact recorded. The printing was done by Spender after Faber and Faber's reader, T. S. Eliot, had rejected the poems. Spender, who had met Auden at Oxford, spent his long holiday printing the work in London on a small, inexpensive press used for labels, but it was completed by the Holywell Press in Oxford after Spender had broken the printing set. The amateurishness of the printing can be easily observed by contrasting the printing before and after page 23.
Bequest of Mollie Harris Samuels

Collections and Treasures