Bottomley, Gordon : Midsummer Eve; A Play


 

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Petersfield, The Pear Tree Press, 1905, Limited Edition. Hardcover, 8vo 8" - 9" tall, 34 [2]pp. Quarter canvas over boards with titles and decorative motif printed in red on upper board, light rubbing to edges and corners, internally clean and bright, unopened, text printed in grey, red and yellow inks, from an edition of 120 copies designed and illustrated by James Guthrie.

Gordon Bottomley (1874-1948) was a poet and playwright who is perhaps best known as the long-term correspondent of better known figures such as Edward Thomas and his friend Paul Nash and his long correspondence with Nash, who had designed stage sets and costumes for Bottomley in 1921 and 1922, was published in "Poet and Painter" (1955). However Bottomley's writings, not all published when he died, were profuse: in the period 1902–37 he wrote twenty-three dramatic pieces in verse. He made his début as a poet in 1896 with The Mickle Drede, published at Kendal, and was included in the first series of Georgian Poetry (1912). The selection was made from his Chambers of Imagery (1907, 1912), and the subjects, ‘The end of the world’ and ‘Babel: the gate of the god’, attest to his reputation as an elegiac and epic-minded poet. While Bottomley's reputation has faded his work was highly valued by his contemporaries. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1926 and was awarded three honorary degrees: LLD (Aberdeen, 1930), DLitt (Durham, 1940), and LittD (Leeds, 1944). (ODNB)

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