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Gitanjali (Song Offerings)

#84880
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BOLDLY SIGNED BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE, SCARCE ASSOCIATION LIMITED FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF HIS NOBEL PRIZE-WINNING GITANJALI, 1912, WITH INTRODUCTION BY YEATS

(YEATS, W.B.) TAGORE, Rabindranath. Gitanjali (Song Offerings). A Collection of Prose Translations by the Author from the Original Bengali. London: Chiswick Press for the India Society, 1912. Octavo, original white gilt-stamped cloth, uncut.

Limited first edition in English, one of only 750 copies (250 for sale), of Tagore’s Nobel Prize-winning work, boldly signed by him on the title page, featuring an introduction by W.B. Yeats, describing Tagore’s work as evoking “a world I have dreamed of all my life long,” with frontispiece portrait, a memorable association copy also signed by Eva Fowler, friend of Yeats and Tagore, with her date of 1912, the same year she sat for a portrait by John Singer Sargent.

Rabindranath Tagore was “a towering figure in the millennium-old literature of Bengal… It is in the sovereignty of reasoning— fearless reasoning in freedom— that we can find Tagore’s lasting voice” (Amartya Sen). W..B. Yeats’ longtime interest in Tagore’s poetry played a key role in introducing him to the West. In Yeats’ introduction to this work, he writes: “These lyrics… display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long.” This is the limited first edition in English of Gitanjali, which won Tagore the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Of this limited edition’s 750 copies, only 250 copies were offered for sale. Owner signature dated 1912 of Eva Neumann Fowler, who sat for her portrait, that same year, by John Singer Sargent. Born in California, Eva married prosperous businessman Alfred Fowler in 1890. On moving to London, “Eva began opening her home…. to a varied collection of artists and writers. Pound was a frequent guest and so was Yeats.” Her husband “was sometimes sceptical of Eva’s friends. Rabindranath Tagore, he complained, always looked ‘grimy” (Marwill, Frederic Manning, 93). With bookplate of Alfred Fowler. Bookseller ticket.

Text fresh, light foxing, mainly to endpapers and boards, some soiling, usual toning to spine of bright gilt-lettered cloth. A scarce signed copy with a distinctive association.