AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HIS POEM 'FOR W.J.M.', signed ('Aldous Huxley'), 14 lines, 1 page, small folio, on old hand-made paper with an early '5' written at head, some dust-marking, irregular edges just affecting two words, not dated
Men see their God, an immanence divine
Smile in the curve of marble or moulded clay
In bare ploughed lands that go sloping away
To meet the sky in one clear exquisite line...
Huxley published eight collections of poetry. Autograph poems by him are rare: only one has sold, at auction in the last forty years at least. The poem is IV in The Defeat of Youth, 1918, published in Collected Poetry.
The recipient of this manuscript is likely to have been Weymer Jay Mills (1880-1938), wealthy American writer. He and Huxley met for dinner on 9 April 1927: 'Dinner with Mr Mills - where was a mutual reading of sonnets.' (Selected Letters). Many of Huxley's literary papers were destroyed in a fire at his home in 1961.
PROVENANCE: John Wilson.
REFERENCES: The Collected Poetry of Aldous Huxley, edited by Donald Watt, 1971; Selected Letters, edited by James Sexton, 2007; Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988.