KING LOG

Fourth impression, April 1981 (originally published in 1968). Paperback issue. Signed and dated with a gift inscription from the author, with the addition of a postcard from Hill to the book's recipient, the composer Hugh Wood. Original publisher's card wraps, the front panel with an illustration from a fifteenth-century edition of Aesop. A very near fine copy, the binding square and firm, the contents clean and bright throughout. Faded to the spine, spreading to the margins of front and rear panels. A particularly nice association copy, testifying to two friends' mutual appreciation of each other's work.

Inscribed by the author in black ink to the half title, "Hugh to fill a / gap on your shelves / Geoffrey / Cambridge 14. 2. 85". Hill has additionally signed and dated the title page. The recipient is the British composer, Hugh Wood (1932-2021). The composer and poet were great friends, both teaching at Cambridge. Hill's 2005 volume 'Scenes from Comus' (setting parts of Milton's great masque) was named after Wood's 1965 BBC Proms Commission, and dedicated to the composer for his seventieth birthday. Wood reciprocated with 'Tenebrae', a setting of eight poems from the poet's 1978 collection of the same title, for Hill's seventieth birthday. In his note for that piece, Wood wrote "I have admired the poetry of Geoffrey Hill throughout the many years of our friendship. We are exact contemporaries, born ten days apart, so our 70th birthdays came up close in the same year. I was honoured when Geoffrey borrowed the title of a piece of mine for the book of poems he inscribed to me". Loosely laid into this copy of 'King Log' is a note from Hill to Wood written in black ink (recto and verso) to a headed Emmanuel College, Cambridge postcard. The note isn't dated but seems to be earlier than the inscriptions to the book (and perhaps used as a bookmark). The note concerns Wood's String Quartet no. 3, "Many thanks for the score of no 3. I have already listened to the tape with the score in front of me I got left behind more than once but hope to catch up eventually. As one who suffers again & again from 'fallow' periods I find your capacity for self-renewal an inspiration, & this quartet is a particularly fine manifestation of that quality. I also approve your choice of poets in 'this' piece. With every good wish, Yours, Geoffrey". The quartet in question was written between 1976-8 (and dedicated to composer and fellow Cambridge professor, Alexander Goehr) and, as Hill indicates, uses quotations from John Donne's 'A Nocturnal upon St. Lucy's Day', George Herbert's 'The Flower', and Laurie Lee's 'April Rise' as epigraphs to sections of the score (poets, in the case of the first two, that Hill had frequently written about and taught).

Stock code: 22029

£150

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Published:

London: Andre Deutsch.
1981

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