"THE TALL RED HOUSE SOARS UPWARDS TO THE STARS, / THE DOORS ARE CHASED WITH SARDONYX AND GOLD…"
BETJEMAN, John. Church Poems. London: John Murray, (1981). Octavo, publisher's half green cloth, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $450.
Signed limited first edition, number 89 of only 100 specially bound copies, signed on the limitation page by Betjeman and illustrator John Piper.
"Church Poems has the distinction of being the only one of Betjeman's books to be withdrawn because of a serious error in production. The initial omens were good: it was to be illustrated by his old collaborator and friend John Piper, and Betjeman was delighted by the specimen page that Jock Murray sent him… But in the preparation of paste-ups… the last seven lines of 'Bristol and Clifton' and two ful pages of 'Sunday Afternoon Service in St. Enoch Church, Cornwall' were omitted. Though Murray claimed that all but half a dozen copies of this first issue were destroyed, many others seem to have gone out to reviewers, and they still appear occasionally in booksellers' catalogues" (Peterson A48.b).