Description

    A Stunning Presentation Copy of Hemingway's First Book,
    Warmly Inscribed to Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap,
    the Editors of "The Little Review" Who Published His First Prose Work

    Ernest Hemingway. Three Stories & Ten Poems. [Paris]: Contact Publishing Co., 1923. First (and only) edition of Hemingway's first book, one of only 300 copies printed, this copy with a warm inscription from the author to the editors of The Little Review, the "little magazine" in Paris that had published his first mature prose work the same year: "For j.h. and Margaret Anderson with love from Hemingway" ("j.h." being Jane Heap). Twelvemo. 58 pages plus printer's imprint. Printed at Dijon by Maurice Darantière, who also printed James Joyce's Ulysses. Original grayish-blue wrappers. Top edges of three leaves (including the title leaf) unopened. Small white spot to rear wrapper. Some toning to backstrip and along edges; wear to head of spine measuring approximately one-half inch. Else, a beautiful, clean, tight copy in near fine condition.

    In 1923 Ernest Hemingway was a 23-year old unpublished writer living in Paris, working as a journalist. Upon his arrival in the city, he wasted little time becoming acquainted with the expatriate avant-garde writers and artists who frequented the Left Bank bars and cafés, and he quickly became a favorite of Gertrude Stein and was a fixture at her famed salons.

    That year he met Margaret C. Anderson and Jane Heap (who was known professionally by her initials, "j.h."). They were the somewhat radical American co-editors of The Little Review, one of the most popular and influential of the "little magazines." Margaret Anderson was a flamboyant and impulsive force of nature who, with the equally unconventional Jane Heap (for a while her romantic partner as well as her business partner) edited the publication that introduced modernist writers and artists to America, publishing works by everyone from Joyce and Yeats to Eliot and Pound to Picasso, Gris, and Brancusi.

    The Little Review was founded by Anderson in 1914 with the lofty desire to, as she wrote in the first issue, "make no compromise with the public taste." In its early days it featured on its pages not only literary works and criticism, but also extremist social commentary for the time, including Anderson's own writing in defense of homosexuality and feminism. It became a publication of much notoriety when Ezra Pound joined on as foreign editor in 1917 and began to send Anderson pieces that were "too unconventional for the Dial, too risqué for the Transatlantic Review, and too bizarre to receive serious consideration anywhere else" (Green). Such an offering was James Joyce's Ulysses, which Anderson and Heap insisted on publishing, even though they knew they were treading on dangerous ground in offering Joyce's scandalous work to the public. It ran for three years, published as a work-in-progress, in serialized installments. Much-discussed because of what was considered its lewd and blasphemous content, it was no surprise when the United States Post Office seized and destroyed copies of the magazine and Anderson and Heap were charged with obscenity. "The publication of Ulysses would, alone, gain Miss Anderson a place in the annals of the little magazine; her standing trial because of that publication gained her martyrdom" (Joost, p. 49). The trial was an international cause célèbre, and, in the end, Anderson and Heap were found guilty, and each was fined fifty dollars. Not long after the famous trial, The Little Review relocated from New York to Paris, and Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap became major figures in the world of literary "exiles."

    It was there in Paris, in 1923, where the "martyred" editors met the young, unpublished Hemingway. In her memoirs, Anderson wrote of their first dinner with Hemingway and his wife Hadley: "Jane Heap and I went to dine with them and Hemingway read us a story. It was one of the first stories he had written - he had not yet found a publisher. I took it immediately for the Little Review... A few months after his first appearance in the Little Review we printed the second story of his to be accepted anywhere - 'Mr. and Mrs. Eliot [sic]' - a gem of a story" (Anderson, p. 258).

    Hemingway's vignettes - short prose pieces collectively titled "In Our Time" - led off the May 1923 Little Review issue which was called the "Exiles' Number" because, as Anderson wrote, "all of the contributors are at present pleasantly exiled in Europe." Contributors to the issue from the expatriate community included Gertrude Stein, E. E. Cummings, Mina Loy, and George Antheil; European contributors included Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, and Jean Cocteau. "That Hemingway's Imagist vignettes led off such a company is evidence enough of the impression he made on Margaret Anderson and Jane Heap" (Joost, p. 53). Poetry magazine had published a sample of Hemingway's poetry a few months earlier, but "he achieved his métier as a writer in the short prose vignettes he published in The Little Review" (Joost, p. 32). Several of these vignettes appeared a few months later in Three Stories & Ten Poems, Hemingway's first book which quickly established him as a major new talent.

    When Three Stories & Ten Poems was published, publisher Robert McAlmon allowed him four author's copies, which he picked up from Sylvia Beach at her legendary book shop, Shakespeare and Company, mere days before he left Paris for a newspaper job in Toronto. One of these copies was inscribed by Hemingway to Miss Beach that day, and it seems likely that the copy offered here which he warmly inscribed for Anderson and Heap is also one of those author's copies - not only did the very small limitation sell out almost immediately, but Hemingway's financial state at the time did not allow for his buying up copies of his own book for presentation. It is fitting that he presented one of his few, precious copies to the two women to whom he owed a debt of gratitude for having enthusiastically published his first mature prose work in the pages of their Little Review. Not only had they granted him what amounted to an official entrée into the world of the literary elite of the sizzling Rive Gauche, but more importantly, they had introduced him to receptive audiences in America and the wider world beyond.

    The Little Review, though hugely influential and always much-discussed, was never really ever on stable financial footing. It required an enormous amount of Margaret's and Jane's time and effort to produce, and eventually the grind wore them both down. Publication ceased in 1929 after fifteen years in operation, and Margaret and Jane went their separate ways: Jane to London to teach the spiritual philosophy of G. I. Gurdjieff, and Margaret, ultimately, after the heart-breaking death of her beloved Georgette LeBlanc, back to the United States.

    Margaret Anderson and Hemingway had had their differences, but Hemingway remained fond of her ("I never met a nicer or more flutter brained legendary woman, or a prettier one in my life than Margaret Anderson," he wrote to Janet Flanner in 1933) (Baker, p. 388), and when word reached him in 1941 that she was unable to afford the ticket for the ocean passage home, he sent a check for $400 to her friend Solita Solano with a note: "Here is the check for Margaret. I hope so [much that] she has good luck getting over. Greet her for me will you? ... Much love Solita and take good care of yourself and don't ever worry because as long as any of us have any money we all have money" (Baker, p. 522).

    It was on the ocean voyage to the U.S. that Margaret met Dorothy Caruso, widow of the internationally-acclaimed Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. They fell in love and spent the next 13 years together until Dorothy's death in 1955, after which Margaret returned to France. She died there of heart failure in 1973 at the age of 86. Jane died in London in 1964 at the age of 80. They had both outlived Hemingway who committed suicide in 1961, one day after his 61st birthday.

    We know of no other presentation copy of a book inscribed to both editors of The Little Review. This, Ernest Hemingway's first book, inscribed by him to the two women who published his first important work and whose magazine helped to define and popularize modernism during the years when the "Lost Generation" was coming of age, is an incredible association item. This unique presentation copy of Three Stories & Ten Poems comes directly from the estate of Dorothy Caruso, widow of Enrico Caruso and longtime companion of Margaret Anderson. It has never been offered for sale. From the Letters, Books, and Papers of Margaret C. Anderson and Dorothy Caruso, Collected by Eric Murray.

    Hanneman A1. Margaret Anderson, My Thirty Years' War. Carlos Baker, editor, Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, 1917-1961. Michelle Erica Green, "Making No Compromises with Critical Taste: The War for The Little Review." Frederick J. Hoffman, Charles Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich, The Little Magazine, A History and a Bibliography. Nicholas Joost, Ernest Hemingway and the Little Magazines: the Paris Years.


    More Information:

    A few of the many contributors to 'The Little Review':

     

    Ernest Hemingway

    James Joyce

    T. S. Eliot

    Gertrude Stein

    Jean Cocteau

    Sherwood Anderson

    Ezra Pound

    Wallace Stevens

    Hart Crane

    Marsden Hartley

    Ben Hecht

    Tristan Tzara

    Emma Goldman

    Ford Madox Ford

    William Carlos Williams

    Wyndham Lewis

    William Butler Yeats

    Djuna Barnes

    Aldous Huxley

     

    Pablo Picasso

    Contantin Brancusi

    Stuart Davis

    Max Ernst

    Fernand Léger

    Francis Picabia

    Marie Laurencin

    Man Ray

    Russian Constructivists

    "and of course much of Dada"

     

     

    A few miscellaneous quotes:

     

    Harriet Monroe, editor of the magazine 'Poetry' and Anderson's contemporary, wrote  in a review of one of Margaret Anderson's memoirs: "It was a gallant adventure - the ''Little Review' - and all the audacity and flaming sincerity of youth were in it."

     

    "[T]he one quality in Margaret Anderson's personality which made 'The Little Review' an important magazine [was her] volatility, which gave her venture the appearance of a rapidly shifting panorama of the literature of its time, or a literary montage with Miss Anderson performing with the scissors. Margaret Anderson was always in control of the magazine; indeed, it would have died at any time she had wished it to. 'Life is a glorious performance,' she says in her first appearance, and adds, 'And close to Life - so close, from our point of view, that it keeps treading the way as we rush along.' The impression given is of breathless racing with life, so that we may imitate it, but may not dare to correct it. Margaret Anderson opposed the intellectualism of her time with an editorial philosophy of 'feeling,' which reaches its finest development, of course, in the artist. She was interested primarily in the 'inner life,' and claimed that man must be socially free in order to realize his inner being. A little magazine, in her estimation, 'should suggest, not conclude  . . . should stimulate to thinking rather than dictate thought'" (Hoffman, et al., p. 20).

     

    In the years following 1916, Margaret Anderson found herself "fighting tooth and nail for the right of America to read Joyce, Dorothy Richardson, Eliot, and many another symbolist. Also at this time she began her fight for the privilege of introducing to America such literary movements as cubism, futurism, and expressionism, movements that had hitherto received only the slightest notice in this country" (Hoffman, et al., p. 57).

     

    "The magazine performed an invaluable service to America in those years, since it was one of the few outlets in this country for ideas and techniques which were to influence profoundly much of our later writing. Had it not been for the sacrifices and limitless enthusiasm of Margaret Anderson, it is quite likely that the postwar American fiction and poetry would have been slower in its experimental course. 'My idea of a magazine which makes any claim to artistic value is that . . . it should suggest, not conclude; that it should stimulate to thinking rather than dictate thought.' It was precisely this function that made the periodical an important force in American letters," (Hoffman, et al., p.60).

     

    "Hemingway - or Hem as he is called by his friends, so that no one knows who is meant by 'Ernest' - is so different from his legend that there may be no use trying to show him as he is. . . . Hemingway is so soft-hearted that it must be as much as he can bear to beat a punching bag. . .  There is even a legend that Hemingway is stingy. This springs no doubt from his native generosity. I have never seen him look anything but hurt when someone else tried to pay for dinner, and if the party is supposed to be dutch he becomes violent when the women wish to pay their share" (Margaret Anderson, p. 258).

     

    "A rhapsodist without guile" (Alfred Kazin's description of Margaret Anderson in a New York Times review of the reissue of her multi-volume memoir collection).



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