$ 95.00



$ 95.00
  • Description




    This is a rare original first edition print of Me Again by Stevie Smith. This special edition has publisher’s black cloth with silver lettering and picture to the spine and includes pale blue endpapers with the facsimile of a letter to Jean dated October 1st, 1970. This book is in very good condition with a slightly worn dust jacket. The letter was written by the English poet Stevie Smith. Her full name was Florence Margaret Smith, but she was always better-known as Stevie - a nickname she acquired after being likened to the jockey Steve Donaghue while a student horse-riding in London. Born in 1902, she died of a brain tumor on 7th March 1971, so just five months after writing this letter.

Being written on October 1st 1970, and inferring that she is sending a copy of a recent book to Jean, published by Batsford, I assume the book she is referring to is The Batsford Book of Children's Verse, which Stevie Smith edited for Batsford in 1970. That would also account for all the references to other poets. The book certainly includes a reference to Coleridge's piece on Catullan Hendecasyllables (see below) and Wordsworth's 'The Sun has long been Set'. The "shark one" refers to 'The Maldive Shark', a poem by Herman Melville. 

Incidentally, a hendecasyllable (adjective hendecasyllabic) is a line in poetry which comprises exactly eleven syllables, and by being written in this way, generates a poetic meter, or a rhythm, that is distinct. It was particularly favored by the Roman poet Catullus, and so is often referred to as Catullan Hendecasyllables. However, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, notably, preferred to call them Catullian Hendecasyllables (with the 'i') and this would be grammatically correct – hence Stevie Smith's wish, referred to in the letter, to have the 'i' included. To her regret, the publishers ignored her.

In her letter, Stevie refers to her sister Molly. Much as Stevie was actually christened Florence Margaret, Molly's true name was Ethel Mary Frances. Despite Stevie's concerns in her letter, Molly actually out-lived her by several years, and died in 1975. Neither woman ever married, although Stevie was sometimes said to have been very close to George Orwell. He was married at the time.

Transcription of the letter:

1 Avondale Road

Palmers Green 


Oct. 1st 1970

886 4262

Dear Jean

I do hope you will like this, though I’m afraid it’s rather sad. At least reading it now, it does sound better. I do think Batsford – that is, of course, Sam Can – have made a v. pretty book of it. It’s awfully funny, isn’t it, that, owing to some last minute pressure. The Candidates’ poor body got left out. I mean they didn’t leave it out of my introduction … as you will observe! To be strictly honest, Sam put in one or two, eg: the shark one (Melville’s) and Wordsworth’s ‘The Sun has long been set’ and Pope’s dog (v. good, I think).  

I struggled and struggled to get them to spell Catullian Hendecasyllables with the ‘i’ (as Coleridge does) but no, it will have Catullan. Actually, the English is not Hendecasyllables at all. Perhaps the original German was. 

(New Page)

I have just got back from my sister’s (Budapest) where I have been for nearly 3 months & I want to go back as soon as possible. She is so sweet, poor darling, & good, but so very sad. I’m afraid she is now as well as she ever will be, ie: she has permanently lost the use of her left arm & can only walk with great difficulty & a 4-pronged sort of stick. I feel quite sick really all the time I am away in case something awful happens. You can imagine. But all through October I have readings to do - Newcastle, Stroud, Cambridge, Brighton. I crammed them all into one month, so as to get down to Molly as soon as possible.

(New Page) 

Dear Jean – to  make this a little bit jollier for all of us. I seem to be permanently suffering from gastroenteritis, & go about weighed down (more or less) with my doctor’s very best drugs! 

Lots of love to you & James 



I’d no idea it was going to be such a long letter, & so badly written. I hope you can read it.


This item will ship exactly as photographed in overall Very Good Condition. It also comes with:  

FREE $800.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal, &
Certificate of Authenticity!
This piece can be viewed at our Brand New gallery APR57 at 200 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. We ship anywhere around the world! This item is also available for local pickup at our gallery.

Appraisal Value: $800.00
Our Price: $95.00

Specifications of Item


Rare Print



Signed By:

Stevie Smith

Dimensions/Size of Document:

Approx. 9" x 6" in

Dimensions/Size of Framed Item:

Approx. 9" x 6" in

Creation Date:

Early 1980s

Overall Condition:

Very Good

Appraised Value:

Comes with FREE $800.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal Certificate!

Our Price: 




 The above item comes with a free certified insurance appraisal valued at $800.00

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