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THE MERMAID'S PURSE.

HUGHES, Ted (Edward James), 1930-1998 :

  • Publisher: [Bideford] : Sunstone Press, (1993).
[Bideford] : Sunstone Press, (1993). First edition : published in a limited edition of 100 copies by Hughes' own Sunstone Press, but this copy, without the limitation statement, evidently bound up from a small over-run of sheets remaining at the printers. Twenty-eight poems on the creatures of the sea - "Starfish", "Whelk", "Whale", "Lobster", etc. - each stunningly illustrated with a full-page colour illustration by Hughes's Sunstone partner, the artist Reginald James Lloyd (b.1926). A disagreement with his regular publishers, Faber & Faber, over this "naughty adventure" in self-publishing meant that when the Faber edition eventually appeared, after Hughes' death and six years later, the illustrations were by a different artist (Flora McDonnell) and, attractive as they are, they are simply not the original illustrations of this full collaboration between artist and poet - the work of each inspired by the other. Demy 8vo (210 x 148mm). [iv],28 leaves. Frontispiece and twenty-eight full-page coloured illustrations by Lloyd; bound in an elegant full pale blue straight-grain morocco, with Lloyd's original "kelp" endpapers; a very good copy indeed of one of the scarcest of Hughes' printed books. Just a single copy (Cambridge) of this edition located in major libraries worldwide.

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