London: Elkin Mathews and John Lane, 1893. Hardcover. Very Good. Hardcover. First edition. One of 500 copies. A nice copy of this collection of poetry by Francis Thompson (1859-1907). Thompson aspired to be a writer but became addicted to opium after college and was homeless for several years. He was discovered and rescued by the writers Wilfrid and Alice Meynell, who arranged for the publication of his this, his first book of poems. He published more works before his early death at 47 from tuberculosis. This book includes his most famous poem, The Hound of Heaven, which describes the pursuit of the human soul by God. This poem is the source of the phrase, "with all deliberate speed," used by the Supreme Court. A phrase in his The Kingdom of God is the source of the title of Han Suyin's novel and the movie Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. In addition, Thompson wrote the most famous cricket poem, the nostalgic At Lord's. He also wrote Sister Songs (1895), New Poems (1897), and a posthumously published essay, "Shelley" (1909). He wrote a treatise On Health and Holiness, dealing with the ascetic life, which was published in 1905. G. K. Chesterton said shortly after his death that "with Francis Thompson we lost the greatest poetic energy since Browning." Among Thompson's devotees was the young J. R. R. Tolkien, who purchased a volume of Thompson's works in 1913-1914, and later said that it was an important influence on his own writing.Bound in grey cloth with the famous cover and spine design by Laurence Housman. Housman also did the frontispiece illustration and title page ornament. Covers are bumped and somewhat soiled but still very good. Offsetting to endpapers, light spotting to free endpapers and darkening to page edges otherwise clean. 81 pages plus 14 page publisher's catalog. POE/071916.
(Inventory #: 29663)
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