Over the Brazier

GRAVES, Robert

PRESENTATION COPY OF GRAVES' FIRST BOOK ANNOTATED FOR HIS SISTER

GRAVES, Robert Over the Brazier

The Poetry Bookshop, 1916.

First edition. Original yapp-edge buff wrappers with woodcut of the Menin Gate by Claud Lovat Fraser, hand-coloured in blue and red. Author's presentation copy, inscribed by the author to his sister Rosaleen on the inside front cover, "Ros from Rob June 26th '16", further signed in full to the title page and with numerous annotations throughout the text in red pencil. A good copy with some wear to the spine, small loss to the spine ends and creasing to the oversized parts of the wrappers. A little foxing throughout. Housed in quarter morocco clamshell box.

An exceptional association copy of Graves's first book providing a fascinating and touching insight into his relationship with his favourite sibling. The marginal additions, written beside 24 of the 26 poems in the volume, provide both the place of composition and contextual details behind each poem's composition, some of which would only have any meaning to a close family member. For example, to 'The Poet in the Nursery', about the author chancing upon a volume of poetry amongst his father's books and stealing it away to his bedroom, the author adds this note: 'Wrexham of Lancaster. But it happened at Wimbledon in the library. The second shelf from the bottom in the bookcase by the window.' (The Graves family spent their early years in Wimbledon). Against the second stanza of 'The Shadow of Death', Graves notes the editorial influence of his contemporary Siegfried Sassoon: 'S.S. rewrote this.' There are several references to Harlech, North Wales, where the Graves family had a holiday home, Plas Erinfa, and Robert felt happiest. By The Dying Knight and the Fauns, he writes, "It happened at Harlech in the clearing in the wood below Erinfa". Numerous references also to Wrexham, where Graves trained with the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1914 prior to going to the front. Against In the Wilderness, he writes, "Wrexham. Suggested curiously enough by the 3rd bn R.W.F. goat"
Graves's sister Rosaleen, a single year older than Graves, was herself a talented poet and musician who planned to be a concert pianist before joining the Volunteer Aid Detachment in 1915 as a nurse. She was described in Good-bye to All That as the author's 'best friend' during his youth. She in turn wrote to Graves in 1973, telling him "all through my childhood and youth you were the person I loved best in the world."

PROVENANCE: Rosaleen Louise Graves (1894-1989; presentation inscription from the author on inside front wrapper: 'Ros / from / Rob June 26th 1916').

Stock ID: 40843

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