THE RARE BOOK AND
MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Treasures


99 John Masefield 1878-1967
Reynard the Fox; or, The Ghost Heath Run
London, William Heinemann, 1919
Masefield achieved immediate fame in 1911 with the publication of The Everlasting Mercy, his first long narrative poem. The combination of his special talents--the lyricism of his verse, the skill at relating a story, the vigor and crispness of his language, the evocation of landscape and the sense of dramatic tension--were well suited to the narrative poem. Among the series of successful works in this genre was Reynard the Fox. This copy was presented by the author to his wife and is inscribed on the fly-leaf "For Con from Jan. The first copy made of this edition." Of the limited edition of 250 copies for sale and 25 for presentation, this is "no. 1 (or 251) anyway the first copy issued on the large paper." Masefield embellished this copy with watercolor and pen-and-ink drawings on 103 pages; next to one sketch he has written, "This horse is queer upon his legs. Don't look close, the artist begs." Masefield also illustrated copies for presentation to King George V in June 1930, and the actress Lillah McCarthy (later Lady Keeble), who lived near the poet at Boar's Hill, Oxford.
Gift of Corliss Lamont

Collections and Treasures