“A WHOLE SWEET COUNTRYSIDE AMUCK WITH MURDER”
BLUNDEN, Edmund. Undertones of War. London: Richard Cobden-Sanderson, (1928). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom cloth slipcase. $1950.
First edition of Blunden’s moving narrative of life on the Western Front told in prose and verse, in original dust jacket.
Although underestimated as a war poet and overshadowed by his contemporaries Owen, Rosenberg, and Sassoon, Blunden established a reputation for himself through his 1928 Undertones of War. The work is divided into two parts: a lengthy prose autobiography of the war related with a poet's sensitivity and attention to language, and a collection of poetry illustrating passages from the autobiography with feeling and imagination. Ironically, it was Blunden's 1931 edition of Wilfred Owen's poetry that renewed an interest in his own work. "Blunden's war poems are more restrained, but his hatred of the war and grief for the dead were just as intense… He was unique among his fellow poets in acknowledging that there were moments of happiness amid the insensate slaughter" (Hamilton, 56).
Book fine, dust jacket with toned spine, near-fine.