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Berry, Francis Listings

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1 Berry, FrancisGhosts of Greenland
London Routledge and Kegan Paul 1966 First Edition Hard Cover Near Fine Very Good Signed by Author
Grey papered boards with black titling. 84 pages. ~ Book is clean, binding tight, with very light sunning at edges. Dust jacket is price clipped, with light wear at top edge, a tiny chip at bottom of rear flap fold, ½-inch closed tear at bottom front panel, spine sunned. Now in a clear archival cover. ~~ Berry (1915-2006) was a respected British poet, critic and professor of English, and he published a number of his own collections as well as numerous works of criticism. This collection features a poem, commissioned as a radio play by the BBC in 1965, titled "Illnesses and Ghosts at the West Settlement," which deals with Erik the Red's colonization of Greenland in 986, and tells of real and documented events. Berry experiments with Anglo-Saxon rhythms in this piece, which is complemented by additional poetry about Greenland. ~~ This copy bears an inscription by Berry on the front free endpaper: "For Lionel and Gwendoline Butler, from Francis Berry (the radio play p. 4 ff)." An attractive, scarce signed copy. 
Price: 150.00 USD
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2 Berry, FrancisI Tell of Greenland: An Edited Translation of the Saušarkrokur Manuscripts
London Routledge & Kegan Paul 1977 0710085915 / 9780710085917 First Edition Hard Cover Near Fine Near Fine 
First printing. Dark green binding with gold spine titling. 205 pages. ~ Book is clean, tight, appears unread, with a wrinkle at upper edge near spine and another wrinkle at tail of spine. Dust jacket is near fine, crisp and bright, with light rubbing wear at head of spine and a single short closed tear at tail of spine. Now in a clear archival cover. ~~ Berry (1915-2006) was a respected British poet, critic and professor of English at the University of London and the University of Sheffield, and he published a number of his own collections as well as numerous works of criticism. This book is an unusual one. It purports to be Berry's translation of manuscripts that he happened upon while boarding at a farmer's home in Reykjavik, these writings being the autobiography of an Ingolf Brandsson, "largely attested by saga, historical document and archaeological find," and which tells of "Ingolf's emigration from Iceland to Greenland as a child and of his lifetime's experiences in that country. These experiences include the conversion of Greenland to Christianity and his participation in the Norse expedition to Vinland, where he perhaps fathered the first child of white man to be born in America." This book is classified as historical fiction, due to the nature of such personally written history, much like the sagas themselves, being a confusing mix of story and history. But the question also arises: Where does the fiction in Berry's book begin and end? Did he really meet an individual who produced these documents for him to translate, or is his entire experience as relayed in this book a fiction? In any case, this piece is a fascinating piece of narrative Icelandic and Greenlandic history, laced with corroborated 'fact' from the sagas, and at the very least, a masterful work of historical fiction. The intrigue is continued in the appendix, where Berry provides a verbatim reproduction of a cryptic letter he received from an unidentified sender. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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