KAVANAGH, Patrick. The Great Hunger.
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The Great Hunger. London: Macgibbon & Kee, 1966. Third edition. Demy octavo. pp. 24. Stapled sheets loosely inserted in pale green printed wrapper with flaps as issued. A very good copy. Scarce.
Originally published in a limited edition by the Cuala Press in 1942, this is the first general trade edition to be separately published. A publisher’s price of ‘95c’ printed below the colophon on the last page indicates that this copy was part of the issue destined for the North American continent. There is a strong argument to be made that this first unlimited edition of Kavanagh’s long poem was originally issued without the loose green wrapper. The printed price on the last page becomes superfluous once the wrapper is added with its own printed price on the inside flap. On its front cover this copy has the adhesive tracks of three distinct bookseller price stickers, and a faint stamp print in red ink reading “York University Book Store $$0.10 Final Sale”. While these marks are not aesthetically pleasing, they seem to indicate a series of reducing prices, and are therefore of considerable interest from the point of view of the author’s sales and reputation at the time.
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