A volume of verses published under the name Clive Hamilton, when the writer was just 20 and had only recently returned from military service, it is to be offered by Mallams in Oxford as part of a general sale of January 28-29 with an estimate of £2000-3000.
Heinemann’s blue cloth binding is worn, bumped and stained, and it bears an early owner’s signature (‘Mildred Wilson, Xmas 1921’), but auction records show only two copies of the book, one seriously defective, offered in the last 40 years.
The complete copy, also in rather poor condition, was one that made £14,000 at Sotheby’s in 2008. It was accompanied by a typed and signed letter in which Lewis identifies it as his first work and explains that Hamilton was his mother’s maiden name.
His verses, though well reviewed, did not sell well and the publishers are thought to have destroyed the remainders.