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    Thurber's First Book, with a Lengthy Inscription and an Original Drawing

    James Thurber, and E.B. White. Is Sex Necessary? or Why You Feel the Way You Do. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1929.

    First edition. Inscribed by Thurber on the front free endpaper (and traced over in pencil): To Jill / With love and kisses, / giggles, and the pulling / out of chairs from under / ancient conventions; also / with due piety, esteem and / admiration; and finally with / that rarity in art --- a / Thurber Man smiling! / Jim." Beneath the inscription, Thurber has drawn his smiling Thurber Man. Laid in is a snapshot of the young Thurber (he was 35 when this book was published) standing in a doorway with his hands in his pockets; along with a printed Thurber Christmas card. Octavo. xxix, 197 pp. Photographic frontispiece of the Flatiron building in New York and fifty-five drawings by James Thurber in the text.

    Original black cloth backstrip over gray paper covered boards. Spine dull and with light crease; boards rubbed; front hinge repaired; rear hinge starting at the top. Engraved bookplate on front pastedown endpaper.

    This is Thurber's first book, written in collaboration with fellow New Yorker magazine staffer E.B. White. Thurber wrote the Preface and Chapters I, III, V, VII, and the Glossary; White wrote the Foreword, Chapters II, IV, VI, VIII, "Answers to Hard Questions" and "A Note on the Drawings". Inscribed copies of Thurber's first book are rare, especially with original drawings.

    Bowden A1a.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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