"LAYS A SPELL ON THE READER AND ACHIEVES SOMETHING LIKE TRUE BEAUTY": ROBERT GRAVES' FIRST BOOK, OVER THE BRAZIER, VERY SCARCE 1916 FIRST EDITION
GRAVES, Robert. Over the Brazier. London: The Poetry Bookshop, 1916. Slim octavo, original pictorial paper wrappers, uncut. Housed in a custom cloth portfolio. $1750.
First edition of Robert Graves' first book, an excellent copy in original wrappers with hand-colored woodcut illustration by Claude Lovat Fraser.
During the First World War, "the stresses of Graves' wartime experiences—during the battle of the Somme in 1916 he was so badly wounded in the lung that he was left for dead and was later able to read his own obituary in The Times—had a major impact upon his poetry… In 1916 an impressive first volume of Graves's poems appeared, entitled Over the Brazier" (ODNB). "His first volume of poems, retitled Over the Brazier by the publisher Harold Monro, and with a cover by Claud Lovat Fraser (anther Old Carthusian) showing the Menin Arch, came out late in May. Charles Graves had pleased his nephew by giving it a friendly mention in the Spectator; other reviews were also encouraging. The Observer thought that Robert Graves would be 'most interesting to watch' while the Times Literary Supplement, having remarked on his 'repelling rawness,' praised an ear for musical cadence which often 'lays a spell on the reader and achieves something like true beauty'" (Seymour, Robert Graves: Life on the Edge, 51). Higginson A1.
Some foxing, chiefly marginal. Just a touch of creasing to oversized wrapper edges. A lovely, near-fine copy in the original wrappers.