BELLOC, HILAIRE (1870-1953)
TWO AUTOGRAPH DRAFTS OF HIS WELL-KNOWN POEM 'TARANTELLA', some 70 lines (the final version 40 lines), perhaps almost the complete working manuscripts for the poem, the first draft heavily revision with deletions, revisions, transpositions, additions and insertions preserving reconsidered readings, in the second the final version is virtually realised, except for the order of some lines, 2 pages, quarto [c. 1920]
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda
" " " "" ""?
And the tedding & the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding.
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of the tar?...
'Tarantella' was first published in Sonnets and Verse, 1923. The Tarantella is a dance supposedly similar to the frenzy produced by the bite of a spider or of falling in love. Miranda was a real person whom Belloc had met 20 years before. An autograph fair copy of the poem is on deposit at the Hertford Record Office. The major collections of Belloc's manuscripts are in Austin, Texas, and the Berg Collection, New York. 'Tarantella' was selected by Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney for inclusion in their anthology The Rattle Bag (1982).
REFERENCE: Location Register of Twentieth-Century Literary Manuscripts and Letters, 2 volumes, 1988.