Camilla’s bookshop, Eastbourne

Book discoveries: A book possibly owned by the artist Cecil Collins

S. and I went to Lewes yesterday for a wander around the flea markets and bookshops. While there I made an interesting discovery.

In one bookshop I was looking through the psychology and philosophy section when I came across a copy of In Defence Of Sensuality by John Cowper Powys. I seem to recently have become a bit of a collector of Powys, so I picked it up and had a flick through.

On the inside cover was this signature:

I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with the “visionary” 20th century artist called Cecil Collins after watching this video on YouTube.

I assumed at the time that this would be some other Collins. I didn’t have that particular Powys book and it was only a tenner so I bought it.

Later I started looking around online for an example of Collins’ handwriting to see if it was in any way similar. I found scans on the Tate website of a handwritten essay The Way Of The Fool by Collins. On one of the early pages is this:

They are almost identical.