Goldring, Maude. Lonely England.

Goldring, Maude. Lonely England.

Goldring, Maude. Lonely England.

London: Stephen Swift, 1911.

First edition. 8vo. 240pp. + 14pp. ads (”Books That Compel”). Bound in publisher’s oatmeal cloth titled and decorated in gilt, black and white to spine and front board. A trifle scuffed and bumped here and there, but a very good, strong copy. Internally clean, pictorial endpapers, edges untrimmed, a rather attractive little book, produced with a rather understated elegance (the ads are printed in a rather dandified red and black, there are colour plates by Agnes Pike, the House of Swift* was not messing about). This is a very deft and lovely collection of short prose pieces and verse dealing with, unsurprisingly, the remoter corners of England, both geographically and metaphysically. It’s a collection of lost paths, strange beings dwelling in bottomless pools, and traces of the creatures that dwell deep in the trees, just around the hill, and under the rocks. Mostly forgotten I would imagine, although Maude Goldring had a sort of following amongst journals like Country Life and The Saturday Review, and was known somewhat for a novel entitled “The Tenants of Pixy Farm”, her most notable work however, was a biographical study of Charlotte Bronte.

* Stephen Swift, Publisher, was in fact Charles Granville; magnificent raconteur, patron of writers and artists, convicted bigamist, fugitive from justice, embezzler, and all round roving literary whirlwind. He published books of a somewhat radical and avant garde nature (Bergson, Belloc and Chesterton were all labouring in his somewhat chaotic publishing hedge maze), one of his more famous “discoveries” being a young Arthur Ransome, who had to take the rather unusual response to Granville running off with his secretary and a sizeable royalty cheque, of squatting in the Swift offices to ensure that the rights to his works not end up in anyone’s hands but his own. Granville had run off to Algiers, was dragged back, tried for bigamy and imprisoned, despite both of his wives giving testimony that he was amongst the better type of husband. Never let it be said that the British book trade is staid or dull.

[Ref: 932] £125

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