"FOR NEARLY HALF MY LIFE… I WAS CONSTANTLY IN HIS COMPANY": ONE OF ONLY 100 SIGNED COPIES OF T.S. ELIOT'S TRIBUTE TO HIS LONGTIME FRIEND AND PUBLISHER GEOFFREY FABER
ELIOT, T.S. Geoffrey Faber 1889-1961. London: Faber and Faber, (1961). Small slim octavo, original brown paper-covered boards, original matching slipcase. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Rare limited first edition of Eliot's tribute to his longtime friend and publisher, number 76 of only 100 numbered copies produced for private distribution, signed by Eliot on the limitation page. This copy has been additionally inscribed on the colophon by printer Susan Mahon to Eliot's fellow Faber & Faber employee Rosemary Goad, who would go on to become the first female director of the fabled publishing firm: For dearest Rosie with love from Sue, December 26 1961."
Geoffrey Faber was the founding editor of Faber and Gwyer (shortly afterwards Faber and Faber), one of the most celebrated of literary publishing houses. "The Gwyers, ambitious to enter the field of general publishing, invited Faber to join them; and he became chairman of a successor company, Faber and Gwyer Ltd, which was established… in 1925. Charles Whibley suggested T. S. Eliot as a literary adviser and Faber, who had had in mind only the engagement of a part-time talent scout, was so impressed and charmed by Eliot at their first meeting that shortly afterwards he invited him to become a member of his board. From 1925 to 1929 Faber augmented the staff with Richard de la Mare, Frank Morley, and Morley Kennerley" (ODNB).
This volume prints the text of an address given by Eliot on the occasion of the memorial service for Faber delivered May 10, 1961. As Eliot notes in this address, "My association with Geoffrey Faber began thirty-five years ago: for nearly half my life, in business, in outside interests, in working hours and in social relaxation, I was constantly in his company" (13). "The fact that [Faber] was himself a poet was vital in creating and maintaining the Faber poetry list, particularly during the early years when the chairman of an undergraduate society described him as 'the godfather of modern English poetry'" (ODNB). Printed on double leaves, "on one side only of rice paper folded in Japanese style" (Gallup). Gallup A71. From the library of Rosemary Goad. Goad joined Faber & Faber as a secretary in 1953, sharing a room with Valerie Fletcher, who would soon become Valerie Eliot after marrying T.S. Eliot in 1957. Goad rose through the ranks at the publisher, doing publicity work while an assistant to Charles Montieth, before acquiring authors of her own to edit. In 1970 she became the first female director of the firm.