Masters' Masterwork, with Two Letters Signed by the AuthorEdgar Lee Masters. Spoon River Anthology. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1915.
First edition, first issue (measuring exactly 0.875 inches across the top), inscribed and signed by Masters. Small octavo. [xviii], 248, [6, publisher's catalog] pages.
Original blue cloth, front cover and spine decoratively stamped in black and lettered in gilt. The inscription on the front free endpaper reads: "To Caroline Blackman / With the sincere friendship / of E. L. Masters / May 3d - 1915." Bookplate of Alfred A. Knopf affixed to front pastedown. Some light rubbing to board extremities. A few leaves standing proud. Front board with a few instances of minor soiling. Lacks jacket, as is almost always the case. Overall, a very good copy housed in a gilt black morocco clamshell box.
A lovely copy of Masters' most famous work, with an excellent provenance. In addition to being inscribed by Masters to Carolyn Blackman, second wife of noted American poet Orrick Glenday Johns, and having once belonged to publisher Alfred A. Knopf, the book comes with two letters written by Masters at the height of his career.
The first, a typed letter signed by Masters, is dated January 29, 1929 and is addressed to Author's League president Arthur Train:
"Dear Mr. Train: Your letter of the 4th is here. I belive [sic] that the Literary Council may be instrumental in advancing the interests of literature, and in correcting some of the abuses which retard our national expression. I'll serve on this Council, and do waht [sic] I can. Very Truly Yours, [E.L. Masters]"
The second, an autograph letter signed by Masters, is dated July 28, 1935, and is addressed to an unknown recipient:
"Dear Mr. Clark: Suppose we get together some afternoon this week + have a beer - here at this hotel. Then we can talk about New Salem, Morning, Manuscript of a Novel, Newport inter alia. Please me. Yours, E. L. Masters. [P.S.] My wife is here and I'd like you to see my boy who is doing the [?] this summer."
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