"KICK UP THE FIRE, AND LET THE FLAMES BREAK LOOSE"
LARKIN, Philip. The North Ship. London: Fortune Press, (1945) [i.e. 1965]. Slim octavo, original burgundy cloth, original dust jacket. $1400.
Unauthorized second edition edition of Larkin's first book of poetry, in the scarce original dust jacket.
"Regarded for much of his career as a minor poet with a narrow range of subject matter, Larkin now seems to dominate the history of English poetry in the second half of the century much as Eliot dominated it in the first… For all his seriousness of his early ambitions as a novelist, Larkin's achievement and reputation were made as a poet: he liked to say, not that he chose poetry, but that it chose him… Larkin makes matters of obsessive concern to him—whether to marry, how to face the idea of death what we owe to others (especially our parents) and ourselves, to what extent we control our lives—into rich dramatic monologues, inviting the reader to listen in as he thinks aloud, venturing one tentative explanation then overturning it with another" (Hamilton, Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Poetry, 288-89). With 31 poems. The first edition was published in 1945 by Fortune Press, but Bloomfield notes that "it is not likely that the edition exceeded 500 copies" (Bloomfield A1(a)). This second edition is a pirated edition, slightly larger than the first edition but possibly run off the same plates. This 500-copy edition was issued in advance of the authorized 1966 Faber & Faber release. However, it was withdrawn when Larkin found out that it existed. According to Bloomfield, the publisher still had 220 copies in stock in 1972, but these had no dust jackets, which "had inadvertently been destroyed." Thus, this is one of fewer than 280 copies of the pirated edition in the original dust jacket.
Book fine, with slightest bump to spinehead. Scarce dust jacket extremely good, with a few spot of soiling, faint dampstaining to spine, and light rubbing to top edge.