- 1937 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
xii, 114 ff. (original pagination 1-224 continued to end; original pagination i-vii on ff. vi-ix) ; 215 x 140 mm.
Original brown card wrappers; 'IN PARENTHESIS - DAVID JONES' (ink on spine), 'June 10, 1937' (pencil on front cover [?in the hand of David Jones]). Boxed in quarter-morocco slipcase and cloth chemise by J. Desmonts, J. MacDonald Co., Norwalk, Conn.; 'JONES - IN PARENTHESIS - PAGE PROOFS - 1937' (in gold on spine of slipcase), 'Ex Libris W.S.R' (label inside chemise).
Name of creator
David Jones (1895-1974) was an accomplished artist who produced watercolours, illustrations and inscriptions, and who also gained acclaim as a poet, especially as the author of In Parenthesis in 1937, and the long prose poem The Anathemata in 1952.
David Walter Jones was born in Brockley, Kent, on 1 November 1895. His mother, Alice Ann née Bradshaw, was from London, and his father, James Jones, was originally from Holywell, Flintshire. He attended the Camberwell School of Art from 1910-1914, and the Westminster School of Art from 1919-1921.
He joined the London Welsh Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers in 1915 and served as a private with them until 1918. This experience had a profound effect on him, and his first book, In Parenthesis (1937), is an epic war poem which deals with the period he spent in France.
In 1921 he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, adopting Michael as a middle name. This was a defining moment in his life and work. In the same year he met Eric Gill and joined Gill's community at Ditchling, Sussex, where he learnt wood-engraving. In 1924 he became engaged to Petra Gill and often visited the family at Capel y ffin, near Abergavenny. His engagement with Petra was broken off in 1927 and subsequently he never married.
Between 1928 and 1932 he moved around a great deal, producing watercolours and also writing. In 1933 he suffered a breakdown in health and endured repeated periods of ill-health from then onwards. He virtually stopped painting until 1937. In 1937 Faber published In Parenthesis, which T. S. Eliot regarded as 'a work of genius'. He was awarded the Hawthornden prize for it in 1938.
He was based at the parental home at Brockley until his mother's death in 1937. He then lived in Notting Hill, and from about 1946 lived in Harrow on the Hill. In 1970 he fell ill after breaking a bone in his hip and resided at Calvary Nursing Home, Harrow until his death in 1974.
A volume of essays Epoch and Artist was published by Faber in 1959, followed by The Fatigue (1965), The Tribune's Visitations (1969) and The Introduction to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1972). The Sleeping Lord (1974) and The Roman Quarry (1981) were published posthumously.
In 1955 he was awarded the CBE, and also the Harriet Monroe memorial prize. In 1960 he was awarded the degree of D. Litt from The University of Wales and became both Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1961. He was awarded the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales Gold medal in 1964 and the Welsh Arts Council Literature Prize in 1969.
Previously auctioned at Sotheby's, 21 July 1988 (lot 188). Sold by Christie's from the collection of William S. Reese.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Christie's; New York; Purchased at auction, lot 366 (with NLW MS 24194E); 26 May 2022; 993575404802419.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
An uncorrected, bound, proof copy, [?April 1937] of David Jones, In Parenthesis: Seinnyessit e gledyf ym penn mameu (London: Faber & Faber Ltd, 1937).
The proof is effectively identical to the three sets used to produce the corrected proofs now NLW, David Jones (Artist and Writer) Papers LP4/4-6, dated 7-17 April 1937; parts of the subsequent revise (ibid, LP4/8-9) were passed for press. In Parenthesis was published in June 1937, corresponding to the date inscribed on the front cover.
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Conditions governing access
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Conditions governing reproduction
Usual copyright laws apply. Information regarding ownership of David Jones copyright can be found at https://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/watch/ (viewed October 2022).
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Language and script notes
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Purchased with financial assistance from The Friends of the National Libraries.
Title based on contents.
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Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Jones, David, 1895-1974. In parenthesis. (Subject)
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Rules and/or conventions used
Description follows NLW guidelines based on ISAD(G) 2nd ed.; AACR2; and LCSH
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Dates of creation revision deletion
Description compiled by Rhys Jones.