ELIOT (T.S.) Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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Lot 634
ELIOT (T.S.)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

Sold for £ 8,400 (US$ 10,166) inc. premium
ELIOT (T.S.)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, first edition, inscribed by Eliot "to/ Thomas Erle Faber/ with the affectionate respects/ of/ T.S. Eliot/ 3.x.39", endleaves foxed, small tear in last unopened leaf, publisher's cloth, dust-jacket signed "O.P. fecit", bookplate of Thomas Erle Faber, dust-jacket worn and lacking spine [Gallup A34], 8vo, Faber & Faber, 1939

Footnotes

  • The dedication copy, inscribed to the author's godson and son of the book's publisher. The Preface reads: "This book is respectfully dedicated to those friends who have assisted its composition by their encouragement, criticism and suggestions: and in particular to Mr. T.E. Faber, Miss Alison Tandy, Miss Susan Wolcott, Miss Susanna Morley, and the Man in White Spats". But in a letter to Tom's mother Enid, Eliot makes it clear that Tom was the principal dedicatee: "about the dedication of Cats. I had thought of putting something like the following: The Author wishes to thank several friends for their suggestions, criticism and encouragement: particularly Mr. T.E. Faber, Miss Alison Tandy, Miss Susan Wolcott, and the Man in White Spats. (Some two or three were composed for the second, and the third is a small American cousin who thinks that they were written for her). Then it occurred to me that Tom has arrived at years of maturity at which he might not be pleased by having his name associated with anything so juvenile. In that case the dedication will be omitted altogether. My second doubt was whether I ought to include Susanna: but as she was not the cause of any of the poems, and so far as I know has never seen them, and I don't know whether she would like them, I don't want to" (this letter is included in the series to Enid, see lot 629).
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