Thursday, August 9, 2012

Satyr Reads Book To Wood Nymph While Trees Observe

By Stephen J. Gertz

Somebody's Book by Arthur Rackham.

Appearing on page 92 of The Windmill, an anthology of authors and illustrators published by William Heinemann Ltd., Somebody's Book by Arthur Rackham, makes its debut; it is found nowhere else.

The authors represented in The Windmill include John Galsworthy, Edmund Gosse, Siegfried Sassoon, John Masefield, Maurice Baring, Max Beerbohm, Algernon Swinburne, Lafcadio Hearn, Vita Sackville-West, Israel Zangwill, Stephen Crane, Arthur Symons, Christopher Morley, W. Somerset Maugham, Jack London and others.

Many of the pieces in the book appear here for the first time. Profits from its sale were donated to the Royal Literary Fund. Also present are facsimiles of manuscripts or letters by R. S. Stevenson, W. H. Page, Joseph Conrad, Henry James, A. C. Swinburne, Rutland Boughton and Laurence Sterne.

Booktryst readers are invited to imagine what book the satyr is reading to his darlin' dryad. You may leave your answers below in the Comments section. I don't think it's The Vicar of Wakefield.

[RACKHAM, Arthur, Cecil Alden, Hugh Thompson, illustrators]. CALLENDER, L. (editor). The Windmill: Stories, Essays, Poems & Pictures by Authors and Artists whose Works are pubiished at the Sign of the Windmill. London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1923. First edition, lim ited to 500 copies. Quarto. ix, [1], 224 pp. Four color plates with captioned tissue guards, four black and white plates (one double-page), seven facsimile reproductions. 

Publisher's original quarter black cloth over orange papered boards. Gilt lettered spine, publisher's windmill vignette in gilt to upper cover. Issued with printed dust jacket.

Latimore and Haskell, p. 57.


  1. Something sexy... Yeats's Leda & the Swan?

  2. The authors mentioned as included in that volume were not the same "crowd" at all, so my thought is pretty far fetched, but Ezra Pound called H.D. his "Dryad" and she perceived him as the kind of force embodied in the Satyr--so given Pound's habits, chances are the Satyr is reading either A Lume Spento or possibly the sequence of poems Pound wrote and had bound for her as "Hilda's Book". But maybe, to be closer to the group there published, Vita (as the Satyr) could be reading to Swinburne (as the Dryad)--a bit of gender bending and some choruses from "Atalanta in Calydon" would be appropriate.


Subscribe to BOOKTRYST by Email