"HARK, I HEAR THE BELLS OF WESTGATE, I WILL TELL YOU WHAT THEY SIGH": FIRST EDITION OF BETJEMAN'S FIRST BOOK OF POETRY, SIGNED BY HIM
BETJEMAN, John. Mount Zion, or In Touch With the Intimate. London: The James Press, (1931). Small quarto, original patterned paper boards, mounted paper label to front board, uncut. $2400.
First edition, one of only 100 copies of the "special issue" of Betjeman's first book of poetry, signed by him on the title page.
"Mount Zion—an elaborate pastiche of outmoded styles in poetry, typography and illustration—reflects the atmosphere of Oxford in the 1920s. Many of the poems were written while Betjeman was an undergraduate, and it was published by Edward James, a rich, eccentric Oxford friend who underwrote the entire cost of the book" (Peterson A1). This copy is from the "special issue," "identical to the ordinary issue except for the binding… probably issued the same date as the ordinary issue" (Peterson A1.b).
Interior fine, rubbing and wear to paper label on front board,