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TENNYSON, ALFRED, LORD; TENNYSON, CHARLES; TENNYSON, FREDERICK - Poems, by Two Brothers

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Tennysonís First Book of Poems, the Jerome Kern Copy, Uncut, in the Original Boards, Together with an Autograph Letter Signed by Tennyson [TENNYSON, Alfred, Lord, Charles Tennyson, and Frederick Tennyson]. Poems, by Two Brothers. London: Printed for W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, Stationersí-Hall-Court; and J. and J. Jackson, Louth, 1827. First edition, first issue, small paper copy, of Tennysonís first book of poems, written with his brothers, Charles and Frederick, and published anonymously. Small octavo (6 11/16 x 4 1/4 inches; 170 x 108 mm.). xii, 228 pp. Uncut, in the original drab boards with the original printed paper spine label. Expertly and almost invisibly rebacked in the early twentieth century. Front joint expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Some minor marginal foxing or staining. With the leather bookplate of Jerome Kern and the ink signature of A.C. Winstanley, dated 1852, on the front pastedown. Ink shelfmark '8625' on the front free endpaper. A spectacular copy. Chemised in a full dark green morocco gilt pull-off case. Laid in is an Autograph Letter Signed from Lord Tennyson to a Mr. Elwes, relating that he had finally recovered a book of his which his sister had loaned to a woman who never returned it: 'My dear Mr. Elwes/Much obliged. Smith himself sent/to me. I have got it back for six/guineas. My sister (48 years ago) lent/it to a woman who never returned it/& now I have to pay for my own/Yours sincerely/A. Tennyson/Dec./22/-74.' With the original stamped envelope addressed in Tennysonís hand: 'D.C. Elwes Esq/5 The Crescent/Bedford.' This copy was Lot 1281 in the Jerome Kern sale at The Anderson Galleries, New York, January 1929, where it brought $475. 'The following poems were written from the ages of fifteen to eighteen, not conjointly, but individually; which may account for their difference of style and matter. To light upon any novel combination of images, or to open any vein of sparkling thought untouched before, were no easy task...and, no doubt, if submitted to the microscopic eye of periodical Criticism, a long list of inaccuracies and imitations would result from the investigation. But so it is: we have passed the Rubicon, and we leave the rest to fate; though its edict may create a fruitless regret that we ever emerged from Ďthe shade,í and courted notoriety' ('Advertisement' on p. [iii]). Published in April 1827. 'A few poems by Frederick were included in the volume but the bulk were by Charles and Alfred' (The Cambridge Guide to English Literature). 'At the age of twelve Tennyson wrote a 6,000-line epic poem. His father, the Reverend George Tennyson, tutored his sons in classical and modern languages. In the 1820s, however, Tennysonís father began to suffer frequent mental breakdowns that were exacerbated by alcoholism. One of Tennysonís brothers had violent quarrels with his father, a second was later confined to an insane asylum, and another became an opium addict. Tennyson escaped home in 1827 to attend Trinity College, Cambridge. In that same year, he and his brother Charles published Poems by Two Brothers. Although the poems in the book were mostly juvenilia, they attracted the attention of the ĎApostles,í an undergraduate literary club led by Arthur Hallam. The ĎApostlesí provided Tennyson, who was tremendously shy, with much needed friendship and confidence as a poet. Hallam and Tennyson became the best of friends; they toured Europe together in 1830 and again in 1832. Hallamís sudden death in 1833 greatly affected the young poet. The long elegy In Memoriam and many of Tennyson's other poems are tributes to Hallam' (The Academy of American Poets, Lord Alfred Tennyson, at the Poetsdotorg). Ashley Library VII, p. 102. Sterling 912. Tinker 2058. Wise, Tennyson, 1.
USD 6500.00 [Appr.: EURO 4705.25 | £UK 3871.25 | JP• 665763] Book number 00387

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