[AUDEN, W.H.] [BLUNT, Anthony] contrib. HARDIE, Colin


Oxford: Oxford University, 1971

8vo, unpaginated. Cream stiff paper wrappers, lettered in black to front and rear panels. Note in ink to front wrapper, wrappers a little marked, but a well preserved copy.

First edition, with a not in an unknown hand to front wrapper: 'Colin Hardie on Wystan'.

The Oxford Encaenia, a ceremony at which honorary degrees are awarded, takes place annually. In 1971, W.H. Auden was made a Doctor of Letters at the ceremony; other beneficiaries at the same event were Edward Heath, Steven Runciman -- and the Soviet agent Anthony Blunt, who by this time had confessed his crimes to the security services in return for immunity from prosecution, but who would not be publicly unmasked until 1979.

Classicist Colin Hardie [1906-1998] was Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford from 1936 to 1973 and, according to a note in an unknown hand, wrote the encomium to Auden, printed here in Latin and English, which ends: 'I present to you a Christ Church man, now honorary Student, sometime our Professor of Poetry, yet our poet still though he lives elsewhere and is of Icelandic extraction, steeped in the Sagas from boyhood, an ornament of our language, for admission to the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.' (Anthony Blunt is introduced as 'an outstanding connoisseur and teacher of art history' which is accurate as far as it goes, and 'a true European', which proved to be less so.)

Not in Bloomfield & Mendelson.

A very well preserved copy.

Keywords: W.H. AUDEN Anthony BLUNT Colin HARDIE"

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