[SASSOON, Siegfried (1886-1967).] Melodies. [London:] Chiswick Press: Charles Whittingham and Co. [for the author], 1912. 4° (187 x 145mm). Title printed in red and black, woodcut printer's device on colophon. (A few light spots, leaves somewhat creased.) Original printed wrappers (light partial fading, edges slightly chipped, block loosened and spine torn by stitching); later cloth folder and slipcase. Provenance: Edward Carpenter (1844-1929, autograph pencilled presentation from Sassoon 'To Edward Carpenter: from Siegfried Sassoon. June. 1912' on title).
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 35 COPIES. PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED TO EDWARD CARPENTER IN THE MONTH OF PUBLICATION. The Socialist Edward Carpenter was one of the most prominent campaigners for homosexual rights of the period and Sassoon had read his work The Intermediate Sex in 1911 and written in response to Carpenter, sending a copy of Twelve Sonnets, together with two photographs of himself and a manuscript sonnet. In his letter, Sassoon praised Carpenter for the revelation of his writings: 'I am afraid I have not studied socialism sufficiently to be in sympathy with what I know of it; but your words have shown me all that I was blind to before, and have opened up a new life for me, after a time of great perplexity and unhappiness. Until I read The Intermediate Sex, I knew nothing of that subject, (and was entirely unspotted, as I am now), but absolutely prejudiced, and I was in such a groove that I couldn't allow myself to be what I wished to be, and the intense attraction I felt for my own sex was almost a subconscious thing', concluding: 'I write to you as the leader and the prophet' (quoted in: J.S. Roberts Siegfried Sassoon, London: 1999, p. 44). Carpenter became a key influence in Sassoon's thought at this time, and his writings strongly influenced, making the association of this copy particularly important. RARE: only two copies are recorded at auction by ABPC since 1975. Keynes A7.