In addition to the full text of Madeleine and the first chapter of Lud-in-the-Mist, this week also brings scans of the front cover and title page of Paris and the title page and last page of the first edition of Lud, all four scans courtesy of the very gracious H. Wessells.
The thing that the scanned image can’t convey is that the cover paper is tissue-thin, and the gold is a beautiful dull metallic color. It’s also, as Julia Briggs has pointed out, the same paper the Woolfs used as endpapers in the Hogarth Press first edition of Jacob’s Room.
Holding Paris at the Bodleian was such an extraordinary experience not only because I quite like the poem and am so interested in Mirrlees, but also because Virginia Woolf hand-set the poem herself, bound it in this delicate paper, and then hand-corrected the final copies. The copy I examined came in a little box with a receipt, also written in Virginia’s handwriting, for a quarterly subscription to Hogarth Press’s literary output. Benjamin was right, I think; as much time as I’ve spent doing academic research on Mirrlees (and Woolf), there’s nothing quite like holding the artifact in your hands.