Some Poems for the Friends of Stephen Tennant
Some Poems for the Friends of Stephen Tennant Some Poems for the Friends of Stephen Tennant Some Poems for the Friends of Stephen Tennant Some Poems for the Friends of Stephen Tennant

Bournemouth: Carillon Press Ltd. 1962.

Presentation copy to Juliette Huxley. 228x176mm. pp. 16. Pictorial wrappers designed by Tennant. In near fine condition. Bound with two staples to the hinge. Slight rust marks around the staples. Internally fine, with one manuscript amendment in the text made by Tennant. Inscription to Juliette Huxley on the upper cover "For dear Juliette from the Author: 1963. Some little poems to amuse you dear J-. S." Loosely inserted is a letter from Tennant to Juliette Huxley on blue paper from Wilsford Manor. Written on one side of the paper and running to sixty-one words, the letter is a light, frothy note dashed off to Juliette: "Are you better now? - Please tell me if you like these new Poems - ....Do tell me some of your news. - All love Twinkletoes". Dedicated to Rachel and David Cecil, these fifteen poems combine nature imagery, mysticism and a undertow of introspective melancholy: "Perfection is the Parcel you left to the last, - And then forgot to open!...Never claimed; never rejected - The little queer parcel nobody wants." Tennant's poems, like the poet himself, do not lack charm and the Firbankian lightness that he adopted early in life is still in evidence here thirty years on. But it was always said of Tennant that he was more serious than he appeared and there is a depth and intelligence at work in these poems summed up in the epigram from Plotinus: "To any vision must be brought an eye adapted to what is to be seen". A rare work, only seven are located institutionally and no copies appear in the auction records. As the title makes clear, these are poems for friends and all recorded copies have inscriptions to well known writers and artists in Tennant's circle including Rosamund Lehmann and Laurence Whistler.

Juliette Huxley (née Marie Juliette Baillot) was born in Switzerland in 1896. Moving to England in 1915 as French tutor to Ottoline Morrell’s daughter, she was quickly absorbed into the Bloomsbury Set and met Julian Huxley at Garsington. She married him in 1919. She shared her husband’s zoological interests and one of his lovers (the poet May Sarton). She wrote, she sculpted and she moved in high circles, hence this collection of poems and the charming letter.