GOLD COAST CUSTOMS.
London: Duckworth, . Black cloth, lettered in red to upper panel and spine. 7.5" by 5". Frontispiece portrait of Sitwell by Pavel Tchelitchew. About fine, in lightly spotted pictorial dust jacket.
First edition. Sitwell's long poem of 500-plus lines combines both dense and obscure language with a bleak picture of modern London. Gold Coast Customs is set first in the African region of its title but the setting shifts to include the customs of London of the 1920s. Sitwell leans heavily on the erroneous descriptions of Hegel in his Philosophy of History, wherein he discusses as fact that "the devouring of flesh is altogether consonant with the general principles of the African race." Sitwell provides a note at the head of her poem and a set of notes at the conclusion to provide an explanation of the "customs" of a continent set both geographically remote from her contemporary London and in time as "In Ashantee, a hundred years ago, ...." The dust jacket image is identified in the notes as "King Munza [who] reigned, in 1874, over the Monbuttoo, a race of cannibals in Central Africa." Sitwell believes she is reflecting the modernist fear that modern, civilized man is devolving into the dreaded "savage."
FIFOOT EA19a. Item #382