[from Swinburne to Meredith] A Tragedy. London: Chatto & Windus, 1892. 1 preliminary page ads plus 32 pp ads dated Oct 1891. Original dark blue-green cloth.
First Edition, which consisted of only 1250 copies, of Swinburne's only verse play in contemporary speech.~This copy is inscribed by Swinburne on the half-title, simply "From the author." The book bears the Box Hill bookplate of the famous Victorian author George Meredith. Meredith and Swinburne had been friends for several decades; during the early 1860s Swinburne lived for awhile at the center of Pre-Raphaelitism, the Cheyne Walk abode of Dante Gabriel Rossetti -- where Meredith lived as well. It turned out to be a difficult arrangement...~...Things grew worse. Meredith was revolted by Rossetti's gargantuan breakfasts, bacon surrounded by a circle of eggs. Swinburne knocked [William] Morris into a cupboard and smashed Rossetti's china. With a new acquaintance, Simeon Solomon, he [Swinburne] romped naked about the house, sliding down the banisters and shrilly waking the echoes. Rossetti planned to accommodate his new mistress, Fanny Cornforth, whom Swinburne out of loyalty to Lizzie [Siddal, Rossetti's now-deceased former mistress and wife] always referred to as "The Bitch." Meredith, driven to distraction by the row, swore that "he would certainly have kicked Swinburne downstairs had he not foreseen what a clatter his horrid little bottom would have made as it bounced from step to step." Within a few months, Meredith left... [Thomas]~At about the same time, Swinburne wrote a letter to The Spectator protesting the paper's unkind review of Meredith's MODERN LOVE. Sometime later Swinburne wrote the novella LOVE'S CROSS-CURRENTS, which is regarded as highly influenced by the style of his friend George Meredith. In short, this volume brings together two of the giants of Victorian literature.~The volume, which came from the renowned collection of Halsted Vander Poel, is in near-fine condition. Wise (Swinburne) 96. Item #8753