Saturday, August 19, 2017

Birthday Book of the Day: Poetry by the English radical and children's author E. Nesbit


Born 159 years ago today, Edith Nesbit was an immensely influential late Victorian- Edwardian era British writer (see her birthday bio in the adjoining post).

In  honor of her birth, Henry Bemis Books offers one of her classic anthologies of poetry, published at the peak of her career:

Nesbit, E., and Mack, Robert Ellice, Morning Songs and Sketches (E.P. Dutton & Co. 1890).  Elegant octavo volume; 32 pages of poetry and illustrations in both color and black-and-white. An anthology of poems about nature edited by the prolific children's author and poet, Edith Nesbit. She contributes several of her own poems and there is also original verse by Graham Tomson and Theodore Gift as well as Shakespeare, Shelley and others. The book is filled with handsome lithographs of young maidens, forest scenes, flowers and fairies as well as decorative initials and chapter headings. The illustrations are by artists including Tom Kelly, Julius Luz, G.W. Harvey and G.H. Thompson. A nice example of a gift annual so popular in the late 19th century. Gore Vidal wrote of Nesbit, “there is no doubt that she was extraordinary. Wanting to be a serious poet, she became of necessity a writer of children’s books. But though she disdained her true gift, she was peculiarly suited by nature to be what in fact she was.”

Printed in Heidelberg. Gilt edging. Very good condition. HBB price: $39.95 obo.

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