HEANEY, Seamus. Death of a Naturalist: Inscribed “With good memoirs of / Oxford / Seamus Heaney, / 27th March 1968.”
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HEANEY, Seamus. Death of a Naturalist. London: Faber and Faber, 1966. First edition third impression. pp. 57. Blue-green cloth, title in gilt along spine. Signed and inscribed by Seamus Heaney on front endpaper “With good memoirs of / Oxford / Seamus Heaney, / 27th March 1968.” Previous owner’s signature. Original dust jacket with a few nicks, otherwise a fine copy in near fine dust jacket.
Brandes and Durkan A2a.
Seamus Heaney (1939-2013), Nobel Laureate, poet, essayist and playwright, born in County Derry and
brought up on a small farm between Toomebridge and Castledawson. After graduation from Queen’s
University, Belfast he taught for a year at St. Thomas’s Intermediate School in that city, where Michael
MacLaverty, the headmaster, encouraged his writing; he then became a lecturer at St. Joseph’s Teacher
Training College. While there he participated in the poetry group organised by Philip Hobsbaum at
QUB, where he was appointed to the English Department in 1966.
The Death of a Naturalist is the first regularly published book by the Nobel Prize-winning poet. It
consists of 34 short poems and is largely concerned with childhood experiences and the formulation of
adult identities, family relationships, and rural life. The collection begins with one of Heaney’s best-
known poems, “Digging”, and includes the acclaimed “Death of a Naturalist”.
The author’s first commercially published work which earned Heaney the E.C. Gregory, the
Cholmondeley and the Somerset Maugham awards as well as the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. It is
now recognised as one of the most significant collections of poetry in modern times.
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