Naked Warriors by Herbert Read 1st / 1st 1919
London: Arts & Letters (1919). The First UK printing. The book is in near fine condition. The wrappers are in a lovely clean condition with no marks to speak of. There is a tiny crease to the top right hand corner.
The vorticist design to front board is by Wyndham Lewis. This is the author’s second book, a collection of poetry based on his experiences during war. Read served with the Yorkshire Regiment and served with distinction having received the Military Cross in 1917 and The Distinguised Service Order a year later.
Arts & Letters was Read’s own publishing company and journal. It was one of the first literary journals to feature work by T.S. Eliot.
In the main, the poetry in this collection appeared here first including ‘The Scene of war’ and ‘Killed in Action’ with the exception of ‘Kneeshaw goes to War’ that appeared in his journal previously. His poetry here is some of the earliest to be critical of the war and the futility of it. On the title page as way of explanation of the title he puts “And there were some that went into the battle naked and unarmed, fighting only with the fervour of their spirit, dying and getting many wounds”.