HEANEY, Seamus. Death of a Naturalist. [First edition]


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London: Faber and Faber, 1966. Demy octavo. First edition, third impression, published in the same year as the first. pp. 57. Blue-green cloth, title in gilt on spine. Jacket not price-clipped. Original dust jacket with a few nicks, otherwise a fine copy in near fine dust jacket.

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”.


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