ELIOT, T.S. The Waste Land.

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ELIOT, T.S. The Waste Land. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.

Small Folio, bound by the publisher in vellum-backed marbled boards, ruled in gilt and lettered in gilt to spine; upper edge gilt, else untrimmed; housed in the original matching slipcase (marbled paper-covered boards), pp. [xiv], 11-51, [v]; a couple of very small spots to the gutters, slipcase rubbed at edges and expertly reinforced, else fine.
Limited edition, printed in Dante type by Giovanni Mardersteig on the hand-press of the Officina Bodoni in Verona. This edition one of just 300 numbered copies on paper made by Fratelli Magnani, Pescia, signed by the poet. This copy no. 65.
In 1921, having taken time off from his job at Lloyds Bank for what would now be called depression, Eliot spent three weeks in Margate, on the South-East coast of England. Sitting in Nayland Rock shelter on the promenade, he wrote “some 50 lines” of The Waste Land, among them direct influence from where he sat: “On Margate Sands…I can connect / Nothing with Nothing. / The broken fingernails of dirty hands.” (Losasso 2019).
This theme of despair, and its powerful vision of urban alienation spoke to a generation of disillusioned young post-war readers, with some critics hailing it as a masterpiece, and others denouncing it for its allusiveness (the US poet William Carlos Williams disliked the modernist style, claiming in his autobiography that it ‘returned us to the classroom’). Nonetheless, the poem remains one of the most influential of the twentieth century.
A highly attractive edition, rare in commerce.
Woolmer 28.