Moortown Elegies

BASKIN, Leonard / HUGHES, Ted

INSCRIBED BY HUGHES TO HIS SISTER

HUGHES, Ted Moortown Elegies

The Rainbow Press, 1978.

First edition, extra-limited issue being one of twenty six copies lettered A-Z, this lettered "M" and bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in full burnt orange morocco. Lettered in gilt to the spine, four raised bands, with gilt vignette to the upper panel by Leonard Baskin. Decorated Japanese endpapers and extra binder's leaves, as issued. Inscribed by Ted Hughes on the limitation page for his sister, "for Olwyn, Ted Hughes". Housed in its original, fleece-lined cloth slipcase. A black and white print, and design for The Rainbow Press, both by Leonard Baskin. A fine copy.

A fine association copy from Ted Hughes to his sister Olwyn of the first edition of Moortown Elegies, the poems composed from Hughes's farming journal that were later issued by Faber as Moortown.
Ted and Olwyn founded The Rainbow Press together in 1971 and it was the chief vessel for collecting Hughes's poems in the 1970s. They co-devised typesetting, style of binding and paper type, were supplied with Japanese endpapers by Hughes and Plath's Japanese translator, and contracted out the execution of the books to choice printers and binders.
Hughes had a very close relationship with Olwyn in both his private and his literary life. Jonathan Bate, Hughes's biographer, refers to her as "his sister, agent, gatekeeper and confidante". They were bought closer together by their brother Gerald's departure for North Africa when he served the RAF during the war. One of his earliest unpublished poems comes from this time and is titled 'For Olwyn Each Evening' (Emory 980/2). After the death of Sylvia Plath, Olwyn left Paris, where she had been working, and moved to Court Green to help Ted raise the children. Soon after she became his literary agent "going into battle on her brother's behalf... [earning] a reputation as a fearsome, difficult gatekeeper and negotiator."

PROVENANCE: From the estate of Olwyn Hughes, thence by descent.

Stock ID: 37891

£2,500.00

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