"TOO MANY BABIES HAVE BEEN BORN IN THERE, TOO MANY COFFINS, BUMPING DOWN THE STAIR…"
BETJEMAN, John. Selected Poems. London: John Murray, 1948. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. $225.
First edition of this selection of poetry chosen by John Sparrow.
"After the War, Jock Murray intended to publish a collected edition of Betjeman's poems, but when he consulted Peter Quennell and John Sparrow, the latter (Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, and an old friend and literary adviser of Betjeman) argued for a smaller selection, at which point Murry, with Betjeman's consent, asked him to edit it… The poems were carefully copy-edited by Sparrow and Betjeman together; when the Collected Poems was published a decade later, unrevised pages from the Selected Poems in many cases served as printer's copy for the larger book. In other words, the Selected Poems, for much of Betjeman's verse, established the definitive text that was never subsequently altered" (Peterson A15.a).
Dust jacket with one small chip to spine head. A very nearly fine copy.