"UNQUESTIONABLY ONE OF THE MAJOR 20TH-CENTURY ENGLISH POETS": SIGNED LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF PROMETHEUS ON HIS CRAG, ONE OF ONLY 160 COPIES SIGNED BY POET TED HUGHES AND ARTIST LEONARD BASKIN
HUGHES, Ted. Prometheus on His Crag. 21 Poems… With a Drawing by Leonard Baskin. London: Rainbow, 1973. Square quarto, original full burgundy crushed morocco, top edge gilt, uncut, original slipcase. $700.
Signed limited first edition of an exceptional volume of 21 poems by Ted Hughes featuring an original frontispiece illustration and colophon design by artist Leonard Baskin, number 150 of only 160 copies signed by Hughes on the limitation page with Baskin's penciled signature below his frontispiece, a splendid uncut copy in original full crushed morocco by Zaehnsdorf.
Ted Hughes, Britain's poet laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998, "is unquestionably one of the major 20th-century English poets" (Cambridge Companion). In 1971 while on a journey to Persia with Peter Brook, "Hughes carried in his breast pocket a notebook in which he jotted down many short poems, 21 of which he subsequently collected as Prometheus on His Crag… As with all his uses of mythology, folklore and classical literature, Hughes is clearly using this ancient and universal material as a means of dealing with his most urgent and personal problems… [here] the hammer blows of 1963 and 1969": respectively the suicide of Sylvia Plath, and the suicide of his lover Assia Wevill, who killed herself and their young daughter, followed by the death of his mother (Rees, ed. Ted Hughes and the Classics, 12). This signed limited first edition features a frontispiece and colophon design by renowned artist Leonard Baskin, whose "influence in illustration has been profound" (Cave, 272). Baskin's profound focus on the human figure "contains all and can express all" (New York Times). As issued without dust jacket. Sagor & Tabor A39.
A fine copy.