The Daffodil Murderer

Being the Chantrey Prize Poem

[SASSOON, Siegfried] KAIN, Saul

[SASSOON, Siegfried] KAIN, Saul The Daffodil Murderer Being the Chantrey Prize Poem

John Richmond Ltd, 1913.

First edition. Original yellow paper wrappers, lettered red. Inscribed by Sassoon for Percy Muir on the front endpaper, "P. H. Muir from Siegfried Sassoon. 4.10.29." Housed in a custom cloth case. A very good copy, with very light edge wear to the wrappers, and some light spotting internally.

Sassoon's early satire of Masefield, whose invented praise on the cover, "brilliant beyond belief", barely covers the fictitious depths on the publication. Sassoon published the work under the pseudonym 'Saul Kain' (taken from the protagonist of Masefield's The Everlasting Mercy), prefaced it with a pseudonymous introduction by 'William Butler' (actually written by the poet T.W.H. Crosland, mocking Yeats), and awarded it the invented Chantrey Prize prior to publication.
In Goodbye To All That, Robert Graves described the poem as "a satire on Masefield which, about halfway through, had forgotten to be a satire and was rather good Masefield". Edmund Gosse, an early supporter of Sassoon, also thought it better than mere satire, describing it as "a tale of rustic tragedy told with real pathos and power, only exactly as Masefield would tell it. The end is extremely beautiful".
Indeed, Gosse was so impressed with the work that he sent it on to Eddie Marsh, publisher of Georgian Poetry, who asked Sassoon to send on more of his work, hence introducing him to one of the most influential figures in pre-war poetic circles.

PROVENANCE: Percy Muir (1894–1979), antiquarian bookseller.

Stock ID: 41566

£2,750.00

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