New York: The Macmillan Company, 1928. Signed limited edition. Octavo (9 5/8 inches tall), original mauve paper boards with gilt monogram, gray cloth spine, top edge gilt, uncut, original paper board slipcase with printed label numbered in ink. Trace of toning to boards, slight wear to upper corner of slipcase, else Fine. Item #1008
"GOD IS MORE NEAR IN MAN'S DESPAIR / THAN A MAN HAS WISDOM TO BE 'WARE / OPEN YOU HEARTS, YOUR KING IS THERE / YOU SHALL LOOK AT HIM FACE TO FACE" Signed limited American edition of John Masefield's Nativity play the Coming of Christ—which overcame a ban to become the first play to be performed in an English cathedral since the Reformation. Commonly grouped with the Georgian poets (he appeared in the anthologies for 1912, 1915, and 1917), Masefield turned from poetry and novels to the theatre in the 1920's and expanded his considerable literary output to include many dramas with Christian themes. "In 1928, John Masefield’s The Coming of Christ, performed in Canterbury in the nave, was the first drama to be staged in an English cathedral since the Reformation. Masefield’s was the first of ‘The Canterbury Plays’, a series of plays staged during Friends’ Festivals until 1948" (Canterbury-Cathedral.org). With his literary reputation established, Masefield succeeded Robert Bridges as Poet Laureate of England in 1930. He would hold the post until his death in 1967. Published same year later as the first British edition, this is one of only 350 copies signed by Masefield on the limitation page.