Macmillan & Co, London, 1923
First Edition, 3rd impression.
Small 4to. Original pictorial green cloth ruled in blind, titles to spine and upper cover gilt, lower edge uncut. Engraved frontispiece of Tintagel Castle by Hardy. Slight rubbing to edges, corners lightly bumped, small brown mark to upper cover. In a replacement contemporary dust jacket, creased and chipped. A very good copy overall.
SIGNED BY HARDY on the half title. Douglas Cleverdon's copy, with his bookplate to the front pastedown and his long pencil note on the front free endpaper explaining that the book was signed by Hardy at a performance of Rutland Boughton's setting of the play at Glastonbury Festival about 1926: "It was blistering weather - the only kind of weather, I was told, in which Hardy would then go out. DC". With a page from a bibliography of Hardy loosely inserted showing the autograph manuscript of his lyric, When I Set Out for Lyonesse, which according to Cleverdon in a note on a second extract from the bibliography about this work, "was inserted in Boughton's setting of The Queen of Cornwall as a song for Tristam".
Together with a copy of the programme for the 1925 Glastonbury Festival (soiled) mentioning the forthcoming tour of the Glastonbury Players in a performance of The Queen of Cornwall, and two costume designs by F. Campbell for the production titled, 'Iseult the Fair' and 'Iseult the Whitehanded', pen and ink with watercolour and heightened with gold, c360 x 255 mm, titled, signed and dated August 1925 in pencil, rather browned, edges stained.
Hardy began The Queen of Cornwall in 1916 when he visited Tintagel with his second wife, Florence, and picked it up again in 1923. It was published and acted in Dorchester that winter, and soon afterwards the composer Rutland Boughton asked if he might make it into an opera.
A fascinating set.