ELIOT (T.S.) Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO SALLY BLAKE, Faber and Faber, 1939

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Lot 135
ELIOT (T.S.)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO SALLY BLAKE, Faber and Faber, 1939

Sold for £ 10,000 (US$ 12,643) inc. premium
ELIOT (T.S.)
Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO SALLY BLAKE, inscribed "for Sally Blake from Tom Possum" on front free endpaper, publisher's yellow cloth with roller-skating figures in red on upper cover, dust-jacket with slight dampstain at outer edge, spine and lower cover chipped (with loss of word "old"), 8vo, Faber and Faber, 1939

Footnotes

  • A FINE PRESENTATION COPY FROM 'TOM POSSUM', inscribed to the 8-year old daughter of his friend George Blake (1893-1961, Scottish author, journalist and broadcaster).

    Provenance: sold on behalf of Sally Blake. Her father became friends with Eliot after being made Director of Faber and Faber in 1930, and as Sally Blake herself recalls, in August 1942 he invited Eliot to his home at East Devon Lodge in Dollar, Scotland. There was much anticipation in the Blake household at the prospect of Eliot's visit, and some anxiety on the part of Sally over the imminent arrival of the "important man". Knowing that Blake had an 8-year old daughter, Eliot had brought with him this copy of Old Possum, which he duly inscribed to Sally. He did spend some time reading to the girl, but rather than his own poems, he chose the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris. Unfortunately, he also chose to adopt a deep Southern American accent which must have sounded entirely foreign, and perhaps a little frightening, to young Scottish ears. At any rate Sally was unsettled to the point of tears, and looking back now, she suggests that the poet rather put the enjoyment of his own performance above the sensibilities of his young listener.
Contacts
ELIOT (T.S.) Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, FIRST EDITION, AUTHOR'S PRESENTATION COPY TO SALLY BLAKE, Faber and Faber, 1939
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