OUR LIVE FAIRS ARE BACK!  THE NEXT ONE WILL BE AT BAKEWELL, DERBYSHIRE, ON SAT. 14th AUGUST
CLICK
HERE TO SEE DETAILS OF ALL OUR FAIRS.
IMPORTANT - SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES WILL BE IN PLACE AT ALL OUR FAIRS AND VISITORS ARE STRONGLY URGED TO WEAR A  MASK.


THE JULY ONLINE BOOK FAIR IS OPEN.  1,000s OF BOOKS/ITEMS  ON OFFER.   CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE.
Book Description
(June 1931; September 1931; 1932) LIMITED EDITIONS, SIGNED BY CONTRIBUTORS: 9 of 30; 25 of 50; 21 of 50, numbered on limitation pages, first two issues also initialled by the publisher and editor, K.S. Bhat. First three issues (of five) of the little magazine. Slim crown 8vos, pp. [iv], 62; pp. [88] + frontispiece by Cecil Wray and illustration by Frederick Carter; pp. 100 + frontispiece by Pearl Binder (bound in between half-title and Contents page), linocut by A. Kisby, plus Sheik Ahmed’s ‘Dreaming’ Loose Inset (leading and bottom edges creased and nicked) laid in, as called for. Cream buckram, spines lettered in silver, silver-stamped crescent moon to upper boards. Number One top edge silver, Two and Three top edges steel grey, others untrimmed. Grubby boards (patchily so – cleaning attempted?), corners bruised and rubbed; pinpricks to upper board of Number Three only. All contributions signed at foot of pages in blue or black ink, excepting the poem by ‘R.S.W’, who “being in China, I regret his signature is at present not obtainable” (via Bhat’s headed notepaper, 1-page laid-in to Number Two), toned, occasional grubby finger prints and marks, a few spots. Else, all clean and tidy. Jisc LHD lists five legal deposit libraries (excepting NLS), plus St. Andrews and Senate House Library, as holding complete runs. Contributors included a diverse set of significant literary and political figures, such as the Czech Symbolist poet Otoka Březina in translation via Paul Selver, Rhys Davies and James Hanley, plus the communist activist and first British MP (for Labour) of Indian Parsi heritage, Shapurji Saklatvala, amongst other. Good+–very good.
Dealer Notes
“Sensitive people shudder when books are confused with magazines; but Dr. Bhat produced a highbrow magazine that practically was a book”: so began the ever playful Oswell Blakeston in his tart retrospective of the interwar oddity, Soma, 30 years on (Blakeston, 1964). According to Blakeston, the very little-known K. S. Bhat was a socially- and literary-minded Indian doctor who practised in an impoverished area of London, often providing his services for free. While based in the UK, Bhat had “decided to send to India some of the creative work he liked best in the English literary scene,” hence the robust bindings to facilitate safe travel to the subcontinent. Publication of Soma ceased in 1935, after five issues, when, as planned, the medically up-skilled Bhat returned to India himself.
By Soma: Number Three (from 1932 issued annually), Bhat was also involved in publishing books by T. F. Powys and Alan Odle (Dorothy Richardson’s husband), plus Blakeston’s first poetry collection, Death While Swimming (1932). Blakeston marked out this issue in particular, deeming the selection of Mary Butt’s poems as “truly magnificent, the world of the Bird Catcher who catches the peacock of the world, and much magic,” with a penurious Aleister Crowley apparently foregoing bus fares to afford a copy: due praise, it seems, for this modernist curiosity.
Oswell Blakeston (1964) ‘Retrospect 12: Soma,’ Ambit 20: pp. 23-6.
Author BHAT, K.S.; BLAKESTON, Osbert; BUTTS, Mary; POWYS, T. F., et al.
Date 1931-1932
Publisher London: K. S. Bhat
Condition Good+–very good

Price: £500.00

Offered by Quair Books

Friends of the PBFA

For £10 get free access to our fairs, updates from the PBFA and more.

Join PBFA

Membership of the PBFA is open to anyone who has been trading in antiquarian and second-hand books for a minimum of two years subject to certain criteria.
Find Out More