Adam Cast Forth

DOUGHTY, Charles M. Adam Cast Forth.

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DOUGHTY, Charles M. Adam Cast Forth. London, Duckworth & Co., 1908.

8vo. Original green cloth, lettered in gilt, top edge gilt dust-wrappers (not price-clipped, library film); pp. [x], 124; spine of wrappers sunned, a very good copy; provenance: inscribed by Doughty to Sir Israel Gollancz, with an accompanying letter from Doughty to Gollancz tipped onto front fly-leaf..
First edition, presentation copy. Doughty, author of the idiosyncratic Travels in Arabia Deserta (1888), devoted his later life to poetry. He acknowledges in his letter the poor reception his verse plays received at the hands of critics and public alike. Writing on 1st January, 1923, some fifteen years after their original publication, he says of Adam Cast Forth: "It has no doubt many defects which Critics might blame, and that I should regret. (It was hardly noticed when it appeared.)" Doughty's waning literary fortunes were only revived when T.E. Lawrence provided an introduction to a new edition of the Travels (1921). T. E. Lawrence had almost all of Doughty's works in his own library, inscribed by the author to him.
Sir Israel Gollancz and Doughty shared a couple of interests. The literary scholar, apart from setting up modern higher education in literary studies in London, published some seminal studies in mediaeval and Anglo-Saxon literature and language. Doughty's literary style is often described as merging Anglo-Saxon with Arabic tropes and style, as well as some elements from English translations of the Hebrew Bible. The present text, a dramatic poem, is 'based on a Muslim legend about Adam and Eve, [it] is perhaps his sole imaginative work to achieve aesthetic success, but only because it convincingly recreates his desert sufferings' (ODNB).

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