Notes on Ariel Poems

These entries for Ariel Poems, Jzf1–Jzf38, are not complete, as it has not been possible to trace and examine some of the variants.

Eliot was taken on by Geoffrey Faber in 1925.

The series develops gradually, and the variables are complex enough to require a spreadsheet. The initial publishers from 1927 are Faber & Gwyer, producing each poem in 2 different formats. No paging is used. Pat Gilmour gives us an important clue about the production methods when she says (Gilmour, 1977, p.47) that the poems were 'printed in batches of eight'.

The ordinary edition has no title-pages; its type-setting is identical with that of the limited edition; note the change in the pattern of publication from nos. 10 and 11 onwards; note also the change of publisher's name from no.18; the illustrations in the two formats are also identical including those in colour, but where there is more than 1 block that which is solely in black appears on the front cover of the ordinary edition.

Most of the poems were produced in two different formats: (a) in a limited edition of 500 or less, sometimes described as the large-paper edition, on Crown 8o hand-made paper; (b) in an ordinary edition of around 2,000 copies on Demy 8o. Neither format has any page-numbering. Square brackets [ ] enclosing an entry or an element in the description warn that it is conjectural and has not been verified in a physical copy.

The Series notice and printer's imprint of the ordinary edition could as well be called a colophon as it appears at the end.

A wide variety of type-faces is employed, including several newly introduced to England: Walbaum, Lutetia italic, Kennerley italic; Curwen; Koch kursiv.

The illustrations are an important feature of the series, every issue having 1 or 2 line blocks by young contemporary artists, and making good use of colour printing; some illustrations use black plus as many as 3 different colours. Apart from conventional line blocks, wood engravings and also lithography, are employed.

Casing or paper wrappers are minimal; the ordinary or cheap edition employs on its front wrapper the same type-setting used on the title-page of the more expensive format, which is sometimes called the 'large-paper' edition, but referred to in this list as the 'limited edition'.