FIRST WORLD WAR
Ottoline Morrell's involvement with poets and artists of the First World War, and with conscientious objectors, was both wide and deep. Asquith, the Prime Minister at the time war broke out, used to visit her salon (and himself wrote poetry during the war). Her husband was one of the few MPs to speak up for conscientious objectors, and her close friend Bertrand Russell was one of the most famous (and troublesome) of the pacifists. She knew Rupert Brooke through Edward Marsh, and was to be a moral support to both Blunden and Sassoon, and a friend to Graves, Robert Nichols and Frank Prewett.
CATCHPOOL, T. Corder (1883-1952) On Two Fronts, edited by his sister, foreword by J. Rendel Harris. London: Headley Bros., 1918. 8°. Original grey wrappers (torn), blue label. Ownership initials of Ottoline Morrell, who has made pencil markings in the margins of the text and written a page reference at the end, highlighting passages about the futility of the war. 'When I look out of my window at night ... and see the bright starlit sky prostituted by those patches of flame, I turn away sick at heart, and go to bed and think that they with all the sublimity of their sacrifice, are dupes; we, dupes; all the world, dupes of the handful of charlatans who make wars ...'
CORNISH, Gerald Warre (d.1916). Beneath the Surface and Other Stories, with an introduction by Desmond MacCarthy. London: Grant Richards, . 8°. Original green cloth. Inscribed by the editor, 'O.M. from Desmond. Feb: 1918.' Desmond MacCarthy married Mary, the daughter of Francis Warre-Cornish (1839-1916), housemaster and then Vice-Provost at Eton, and his wife Blanche. Gerald was his brother-in-law.
LIVEING, Edward G. D. Attack: An Infantry Subaltern's Impressions of July 1st, 1916 with an introduction by John Masefield. London: Heinemann, 1918. 8°. Original grey paper boards (faded at spine). PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed 'To Lady Ottoline with the author's good wishes Edward Liveing 11.6.20 "A panorama painted with three colours - the white of smoke, the red of the shrapnel and blood, the green of the grass."' First published in Blackwood's Magazine in December 1917.
MALLESON, Miles (1888-1969). Paddly Pools: A Little Fairy Play. London: Hendersons [The Bomb Shop], 1916. 8°. Original orange wrappers, soiled. Inscribed to Julian Morrell, July 1916. Malleson, later known as an actor in a multitude of Hammer Horror films, was at this time a reluctant soldier, and his fantasy play (performed at the New Theatre on April 11, 1916) was a plea for an end to fighting, so that 'The whole world might belong to everyone ... without any barbed wire or quarrelling.'
NEVINSON, Henry W. (1856-1941). In the Dark Backward. London: Routledge, 1934. 8°. Original red cloth. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed 'To Lady Ottoline Morrell from H.W.N. August 1934.' With a typed letter, signed, presenting the book and pointing out that he has 'corrected a few misprints, one of them outrageous'. (This may refer to his changing 'Leigh Hunt, the casual sponge' to read 'Leigh Hunt, a brave but impecunious friend'.) Nevinson wrote front-line war reports during both the Boer War and the First World War. He was a friend of Bertrand Russell through the campaign for women's suffrage, opposition to the war and civil liberties.
ROSENBERG, Isaac (1890-1918). Poems, edited by Gordon Bottomley, with introductory Memoir by Laurence Binyon. London: Heinemann, 1922. 8°. Frontispiece portrait photograph. Original black cloth (spine label worn), unopened. FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF ONE OF THE GREATEST OF THE WAR POETS.
THOMAS, Edward (1878-1917). Collected Poems. Foreward by Walter de la Mare. London: Selwyn & Blount, 1920. 8°. Frontispiece portrait photograph. Original blue cloth (discoloured at spine, label stained). Ownership initials of Ottoline Morrell, dated 1920, and her pencil marks against several poems. (7)