HUGHES, Ted. Moon-Bells and Other Poems. London; Chatto & Windus. 1978.
8vo. Original glazed cream boards printed in colours; pp. [vi], 7-32; with the usual toning to covers but otherwise fresh and clean, with the publisher's adhesive paper sticker to lower board, £1.95.
First edition, issued in Chatto Poets for the Young series. A presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free end-paper in the year of publication, in black ink: “For Sean - on his birthday - to read to Peggy, with much love from Ted 1978”.
Sean Rafferty was a lyric poet who had plays performed in London in the 1930s and '40s in the Players' Theatre. He and his wife, Peggy, kept the Duke of York Public House, Iddesleigh, when they were persuaded by Michael Morpurgo, and his wife Clare, who had spent much of her childhood with the couple, to retire to Burrow Cottage, on the Nethercott estate, and assist them in their great endeavour to set up a kids' farm for inner city children. Morurgo describes in his essay Once Upon a Life how he and Clare, his wife, also met Ted Hughes', who was a near neighbour, one summer evening, when the latter was fishing on the River Torridge, to discover that the poet was already a good friend of Sean and Peggy. Hughes went on to become President of their charitable project.