London: Privately Printed, 1939. Item #00041
Signed by the Author’s Mother
HOLLAND, John. Song of a Boy. London: Privately Printed, 1939.
First edition. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author’s mother on the front free endpaper: “To thank you for your/appreciation of my/son’s work./Phyllis Holland.” Small quarto. [2, blank], , 177, [1, blank] pp. Twenty-five plates, twenty-three in color (including frontispiece portrait) and two portraits from photographs. Descriptive tissue guards.
Original cream-colored cloth pictorially stamped in gilt on front cover and lettered in gilt on spine. Top edge gilt on the rough, others uncut. Inner hinges hint at starting. Minimal foxing at beginning and end. A near fine copy, largely unopened.
A memorial book dedicated to the life of John Holland, who tragically died at the age of nineteen. An accomplished artist and poet, he attended Winchester and was destined for Oxford when he died of polio in Dalmatia in 1936. This volume collects his poetry and reproduces a number of his drawings and paintings in color.
“John Douglas Holland was born at Basing Houre, Southsea, on August 30th, 1917, and was the only son of Rear-Admiral L.E. Holland. He entered Winchester College when just thirteen…On leaving Winchester he went to the Architectural Association for one term and then decided to go to Oxford and was to have entered Magdalen College in October 1936, but while on a short sketching tour in Yugoslavia he caught infantile paralysis and died at Split, Dalmatia, on July 30th, after six days’ illness…These poems and rhymes were written from the age of fourteen. They are not arranged in any particular order of writing as, though some were written out carefully, others were found scribbled here and there in his books and on odd pieces of paper. His paintings, some of which are also reproduced in this book, were, like his poems, quick and unlaboured—done at any moment he might feel in the mood” (preliminary p. ).