Title: A volume of poetry and autobiography compiled by John Bedford Leno.
Classmark: BC MS Gen 9
Creator(s): Leno, John Bedford
Main language: English
Size and medium: 1 vol. (ca. 180 ff.), manuscript and printed.
A volume of poetry and autobiography, in the form of manuscript and printed proofs, compiled and heavily corrected by the author. Comprises: From one end of the volume (1) 'The People's Edition of John Bedford Leno's Poems: in monthly numbers', printed proof pages pasted onto blanks, ca. 106 ff., possibly the only record of the publication; and from the other end of the volume (2) manuscript and printed poetry (newspaper-cuttings) by Leno, including 'The Tale of a Dog', 'A Tailor's Love Letter', 'A Poem for Christmas 1886', 'Poverty and Wealth', 'Done by a Yokel' and 'Life is a Race', 29 ff., some of the manuscript poems previously published, others not; (3) 'Autobiography of John Bedford Leno', printed proof pages, 88 pp., including accounts of him meeting well-known radicals and socialists, such as Thomas Hughes, Octavia Hill, F.J. Furnivall, William Morris, and even, Carl Marx, published in 1892 as part of 'The Aftermath', Leno's last work.
Bound in half roan over marbled boards.
John Bedford Leno was a printer, publisher, poet, editor, and a significant figure in 19th-century radicalism. He was from Uxbridge, Middlesex, but for all his working life he lived in London, where early in his career he became involved in revolutionary movements. In the 1840s he was a chartist, and with Gerald Massey, a fellow chartist poet, he edited a radical periodical 'The Spirit of Freedom'. Leno's volumes of poetry were moderately successful, but his most successful book was on the subject of shoemaking.
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