Ralph Nicholas Chubb (8 February 1892 - 14 January 1960) was an English poet, printer, and artist, who was heavily influenced by Whitman, Blake, and the Romantic poets. Highly independent, he created an intricate personal mythology, one that was anti-materialist and sexually innovative.
Chubb attended St. Albans School, the University of Cambridge, and the Slade School of Art in London. Unfortunately, his paintings did not sell. His books were created in several phases. His typeset books of the twenties were humble offerings, exhibiting Chubb's talent for woodcutting and his quaint, visually inspired poetry. Even at this early stage, Chubb's lifelong obsession with adolescent males had emerged. He expanded upon this theme in “An Appendix,” a pederastic and spiritualist manifesto, which ranks as the first of his printed works to be printed in his own hand.
Gradually his works became more elaborate and accessible. “Water Cherubs” crystallizes Chubb's aesthetic of the youthful male form, while “The Secret Country” unfolds like an illuminated manuscript.
In 1948 he entered into a new phase with two massive volumes: “The Child of Dawn” and “Flames of Sunrise.” At this time he stated his credo: “I announce a secret event as tremendous and mysterious as any that has occurred in the spiritual history of the world. I announce the inauguration of a Third Dispensation, the dispensation of the Holy Ghost on earth, and the visible advent thereof on earth in the form of a Young Boy of thirteen years old, naked perfect and unblemished.” The combination of enthusiasm for youth and messianic aspirations recalls the more familiar work of the German poet Stefan George.
None of the editions of Chubb's books ran to more than 200 copies. Some of his lithographed works exist in only 30 or 40 copies, of which a mere 6 or 7 display meticulous hand-coloring.
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