Album of poems by Captain William Gamul Edwards of The Cedars, Bromley Common, Kent, both original compositions in his autograph and cuttings of poems published by him, mainly under the pseudonyms 'W. G. E.' and 'Gamul'.

Captain William Gamul Edwards (1808-1884) of HM 38th Regiment of Foot and The Cedars, Bromley Common, Kent, Director of the Mid-Kent Railway, son of Rev. Thomas Edwards, Rector of Alford, Cheshire
Publication details: 
[The Cedars, Bromley Common, Kent.] Dated from between September 1835 and February 1880.
SKU: 13604

146pp., 12mo, in autograph, almost entirely consisting of poetic compositions, with numerous emendations; with a further 35 cuttings of poems laid down (33 of them by Edwards) and another two cuttings of another two poems loosely inserted. Also loosely inserted are two poems (totalling 7pp., 4to): 'To Ill Health', dated September 1835; and 'The last hope', 28 December 1869. In contemporary dark-green crushed morocco binding, gilt, recently rebacked by Ipsley Bindery with new enpapers. All edges gilt. Edwards was the author of pleasing light verse and jeux d'esprit in a traditional style, and was not without success, with the 33 cuttings of poems in this volume including work published by him in four magazines. The subject matter is also conventional, but along with poems indicating Edwards's love of fox-hunting, are three on the futility of war ('The war-sick Soldier', 'Song of the Peace-lover' and 'A sigh for the Millenium [sic]'), together with a translation of an anti-war poem by Victor Hugo (the original beginning 'Depuis six mille ans la guerre'). None of the printed poems appear under Edwards's own name, his usual pseudonym being 'W.G.E.', together with these others: 'Gamul', 'Harry L.', 'Hotspur', 'Senex' and 'Weeping Willow'. The 25 cuttings of poems by 'W.G.E.' are: 'The Huntsman to his Horse'; 'Enigma | (For the Lady-subscribers to the Record.)', dated 27 December 1869; 'In Memoriam' (with 'Lament for Tom Hills' added in autograph), dated 24 February 1873; 'Christmas Nut' and 'Enigma', the latter dated 1 January 1871; 'W.G.E.'s Award', January 1876; 'The Huntsman and the Iron Horse', Bell's Life in London, 18 February 1865; 'Good-bye to the Chase'; 'News from the East' (retitled in autograph 'Kingdom Come'); 'The Chase'; 'Frozen Out' (poem dated 19 January 1867), Bell's Life in London; 'A November Day' (poem dated 23 November 1866); 'On seeing, in my garden, the first snowdrop', February 1867; 'Christmas Charade', Bromley Telegraph, 1875; 'The Huntsman and the Soldier'; 'The Spirit of May'; 'Where's Chandos?' (with note: 'Chandos H. Abrahall, author of "Arctic Enterprise," "Learn and Teach," and other poems, died at Keston, on the last day of September, 1874.'); '"A Horse! A Horse!" Two Ponies "for a Horse?"' (printed at foot: 'Address - W.G.E., Skim Corner Post Office, Bromley Common, S.E.'); 'Enigmas'; 'Riddles Again' (tite altered in autograph to 'The Riddles as they ought to be, unmarr'd by printer's devilry'); 'Song of the Squirrels' (with footnote: 'The author has two splendid cedars.'); 'Under My Cedar', 16 August 1871 (with footnote: 'This tree covers, from north-east to south-west, a space of 74 feet.'); 'A Half-Dozen-and-One of Toasts', Bell's Life in London, 26 April 1873; 'The Girls of the Period'; 'The Newly Born'. The cuttings of four poems by 'Gamul' in the volume are: 'Dream of the English Soldier'; 'Another Version' of 'Verses by Victor Hugo' (with the original in French), from The Herald of Peace, London, 1 March 1866 (a cutting of a response to this, titled 'An Invocation', is loosely inserted); 'Poetry'; '"Mors Janua Vitae" | Suggested by Noel Paton's Picture, so entitled'; 'Christmas Ccomes but Once a Year', 24 December 1877. The volume also contains cuttings of a poem apiece under the four pseudonyms: one poem by 'Harry L.': 'A Great Dis-Appointment', from Bell's Life in London, 24 November 1877; one poem by 'Hotspur': ' 'Ware Wheat! 'Ware Tares!', Bell's Life in London, 12 April 1873; one poem by 'Weeping Willow': 'Judy's Competitive Examination. | Third Question. | Ought a Woman to Accept her First Offer, or Wait?', Judy, 2 November 1870; one poem by 'Senex', beginning 'Dear girl, if instinct counsels you', Judy, 8 March 1871 (with autograph note: 'W.G.E.'s last shot at the volume-target.'). Also present are cuttings of two poems not by Edwards. The first is a poem titled 'The Thaw - Impromptu', dated by Edwards to 1867 (with note: 'N.B. The only poetry, in this book, not my own. | WGE'); the second is a song entitled 'Somebody's Darling' (with note: 'Not my own - By an American lady'). Edwards was born at Chester, and his entry in the 'Remains Historical & Literary connected with the Palatine Counties of Lancaster and Chester, vol. 94 (Chetham Society, 1874) states that he 'joined the 38th regiment of infantry as ensign in the early part of 1828, and soon after sailed with the regiment to Calcutta, and remained in India five years, retiring from the army after twenty years service. He married on the 31st March 1839, Mary, second daughter of Robert Main, esq., of the firm of Main, Reid and Co., Southwark, who died s.p. in March 1866.Captain Edwards, who was for some years one of the directors of the Mid-Kent railway, is now resident at the Cedars, Bromley, Kent.'