TENNYSON, Alfred, 1st Baron Tennyson (1809-92). Demeter and Other Poems. London and New York: Macmillan, 1889.
8° (166 x 91mm). Bound for presentation in contemporary red morocco, covers with double gilt fillet, spine ruled and lettered in gilt, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, gilt edges, later morocco-backed red cloth case. Provenance: presentation copy from the author to his grandson, Lionel Hallam Tenyson (inscribed in his hand 'Lionel Hallam Tennyson from his Godfather & Grandfather Tennyson Xa 1889') -- purchased from Parke-Bernet sale, 11 December 1942, $17.50.
FIRST EDITION. The third volume of Tennyson's poetry to be published by Macmillan, Demeter and Other Poems appeared in December, selling an astonishing 20,000 copies in the first week. The lead poem, 'Demeter and Persephone,' is a blank verse handling of the classical myth. After its publication, the final piece, 'Crossing the Bar,' was 'quoted in countless newspapers and periodicals, and read from thousands of pulpits in church and chapel throughout the country' (C. Tennyson Alfred Tennyson p. 518). Born on 7 November 1889, Lionel Hallam Tennyson, 3rd Baron Tennyson (1889-1951) was wounded three times in the Great War, but lived to captain England against Australia in 1921 and captain the Hampshire cricket team from 1919 to 1933. What makes this Christmas gift from his eighty-year-old grandfather so utterly charming is that he was then a baby of less than two months. Hagen pp. 181-82; Wise Tennyson 161.