This volume was published posthumously, one year after the poet died of tuberculosis. He was highly thought-of, G.K. Chesterton describing him as: "... the greatest poetic energy since Browning." His best-known poem was 'The Hound of Heaven', which contains the phrase 'with all deliberate speed'; and 'The Kingdom of God' gave us "... a many-splendoured thing".
Francis Thompson (16 December 1859 – 13 November 1907) was an English poet and ascetic. After college, where he reluctantly studied medicine, he moved to London to become a writer, but could only find menial work and became addicted to opium, living as a street vagrant for years. A married couple read his poetry and rescued him, publishing his first book Poems in 1893. A lifetime of extreme poverty, ill-health, and his addiction to opium took a heavy toll on Thompson, even though he found success in his last years. He eventually died from tuberculosis at the age of 47, in the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, and is buried in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Green. His tomb bears the last line from a poem he wrote for his godson "Look for me in the nurseries of Heaven".
Our book is in good condition for its age, bound in light green cloth with gilt title, line border and laurel wreath motif on the front cover, and gilt title etc on the spine. The top page edges are gilt; other edges roughcut. The spine and part of the front cover are sunned, and there is a little loss of colour to all edges. There is only minimal shelf wear. Within, both free endpapers are badly browned, the front one bearing an ink-written gift inscription dated 1984, as well as one or two pencilled words. The binding is generally firm, with a little weakness at p. 192, and also at the rear spinal hinge. Otherwise the pages are generally clean and bright, with just one or two minimal spots of ?incipient foxing.