Maggs Bros Ltd

Some Immortal Hours. A Rhapsody of the Celtic Twilight Wrought in Word and Water Colour.

BETJEMAN John as Deirdre O'Betjeman (1962.)

£7500.00 

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Facsimile of the author's manuscript, with pictorial title page, large initial and many small initials and decorative devices, hand coloured. Seven leaves in total, each measuring 35.5 x 25.4cm. [One of eight copies for presentation of a total edition of 20]. Housed in a good quality modern folding case, with a leather lettering piece on the front cover.  London, John Murray - "A good book from Mr. Murray is the blessed life blood of a Master Spirit".

Inscribed by the author at the foot of the last page of text to Evelyn Waugh "Evelyn with love from John B".

The text is a loving and well-achieved pastiche of the Celtic Twilight and the entire Arts and Crafts movement. Deirdre O'Betjeman describes her visit to Fiona MacLeod (the alter ego of William Sharp) in West Hampstead, alighting from the Metropolitan line and passing the wonderful Voysey house at the corner of Kidderpore Avenue ("a goodly and stout stone dwelling for his old father the theist on Platt's Lane, but that is another tale & must await the Saxon stave of these my chronicles"). Deirdre is bent upon a sort of Celtic cultural embassy "The mission of missions to Fiona MacLeod here on his hill top Hampstead Cairn": "Can words of mine however precious, write with quill however bravely sharpened on paper however finely laid, bring back the magic of that mystic meeting of Celt & Celt in the twilight of a Hampstead drawing room ... Lang, lang did we talk i' the gloaming as the smoke steepled out the chimney o' the neighbouring house of Edmund Gosse & the sun sunk low o'er the hoose of Arthur Waugh, & shades of even drave his two young sons Alexander & Evelyn indoors frae their games in the garden. Fornent us in Frognal the Spenders were putting their bairns tae bed."

A few soft marginal creases, otherwise a fine copy of one of the most entertaining of 20th century literary rarities, with an immaculate provenance. 

Stock Code: 216514