DescriptionEdith Wharton [editor]. The Book of the Homeless. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916.
First edition, limited to 50 copies of which this is number 48. Signed by the publisher, D. B. Updike. Quarto. 153 pages.
Publisher's quarter blue cloth with gray paper boards and gold stamping. The deluxe edition of 50 is printed on French hand-made paper, containing four facsimiles of manuscripts and a second set of illustrations in portfolio. This copy is lacking the publisher's slipcase and the second set of illustrations. Cloth is lightly rubbed with some minor soiling along the spine and boards. Housed in a custom chemise and slipcase.
Wharton considered the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee her "prettiest and showiest" charity and spent significant time raising money to keep it functioning. To sustain the Children of Flanders through the winter of 1915-1916, she edited The Book of the Homeless, a collection of original poetry, prose, musical scores, drawings, and paintings by some sixty writers and artists from Europe and America. The list of contributors includes some of the era's most important artists. She oversaw every aspect of the bookmaking process, from enlisting its contributors to translating the French and Italian contributions. Published by Scribner's in New York and Macmillan in London on January 22, 1916, the 153-page volume was printed by Berkeley Updike's Merrymount Press in a regular edition that sold for $5 and two deluxe editions that sold at $25 and $50, respectively. It was undoubtedly the most prestigious of the memorial books produced during the First World War, and it received excellent press coverage and reviews. The New York Times Book Review observed that its famous contributors "have given their best."
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