London: Hollis & Carter, 1951. First edition. Octavo, original brown cloth, original dust jacket. Minor creasing and wear to corners and spine ends of dust jacket. A fresh, bright copy. Item #311
"MY MEMORIES HAVE BECOME CLEARER AND CLEARER UNTIL I HAVE AT LAST BEEN LITERALLY FORCED TO WRITE THEM OUT IN THIS BOOK SO AS TO REPAY MY DEBT BOTH TO ALMIGHTY GOD AND TO MY PARENTS, FOR LETTING ME LOOSE IN SUCH A WORLD, TO PLUNDER ITS MIRACULOUS LITERATURES, AND LANGUAGES, AND WINES"
First edition of the memoirs of the South African poet, translator, and adventurer, covering the years 1901-1935. After gaining fame as a poet as a young man, the combative and restless Campbell became as well-known for his many alliances and his many enemies as he was for his talent. "Almost overnight, Roy Campbell, still only 22 years old, was rocketed into the ranks of the illustrissimi of English letters, his work being discussed in the same breath, and with the same reverence as that of T.S. Eliot. The comparison between Campbell and Eliot, who's hugely influential The Waste Land had been published 18 months prior to the appearance of The Flaming Terrapin, is singularly appropriate. Both poets, and both poems, were displaying an embryonic rebellion against the prevailing cynicism, born out of post-war angst, which afflicted the younger generation in the years following the carnage of World War I. Eventually both poets would reject the superficiality and shifting sands of modern cynicism for the sure foundation of traditional Christianity." (Joseph Pearce). Campbell's book ends with his family's move to Spain. Campbell became enamored of Iberian culture and he became a skilled translator of French, Spanish and Portuguese poetry. Campbell and his family converted to Catholicism in Altea, Spain in 1935. He and his wife were returning from Holy Week festivities in Sevilla, Spain when he was killed in a car accident in Portugal in April, 1957. Illustrated with a frontispiece 1924 portrait of Campbell by Augustus John. Menendez, The Road to Rome, 487.