20 Aug 2013

TS Eliot poem hand set by Virginia Woolf fetches £4,500 at auction

Hogarth Press edition of TS Eliot's The Waste Land. Photograph: Bonhams
A first edition of The Waste Land published by Woolf's Hogarth Press has been sold to St Andrew's University. Read the article - here

'A rare UK first edition of T.S. Eliot's poem The Waste Land, hand-set by Virginia Woolf – who "had difficulty with the typography" – has been bought at auction by the University of St Andrews for £4,500 after being donated to Oxfam.'

Sales such as these can draw attention to interesting aspects of the poem itself. For example, Lydia Wilkinson, books specialist at auction house Bonhams, notes that:

"Woolf had difficulty with the typography because of the way Eliot would write, the rhythm and space used in his poems, and she had a bit of trouble getting the typeface right." 

This type of detail, considering the already acknowledged influence that The Waste Land' had on texts such as Mrs. Dalloway, can cause us to reconsider the "rhythm and space" in Woolf's novels.

See more Eliot related content on this blog - here
And more on Woolf - here

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