Item Details

Price: $450
PJP Catalog: 63.156

One of 560 Signed by Dreiser,
In an
Art Deco Binding by Whitman Bennett


(New York: Horace Liveright, 1929). 248 x 165 mm (9 3/4 x 6 1/2"). Two volumes.. FIRST EDITION. ONE OF 560 COPIES SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. (This is copy #287.).

Very pleasing contemporary red three-quarter morocco by Bennett (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper of each volume), raised bands, spines in five panels, three with green morocco titling labels, the other two panels (one of which is elongated) featuring an unusual asymmetrical attenuated Art Deco design, marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, other edges rough trimmed. Corners and edges a little rubbed (this mostly masked with dye), morocco labels with uneven fading to yellow, leaves a bit browned around the edges (as no doubt in all copies), otherwise fine, the text clean and fresh, and the bindings especially lustrous and with virtually no wear to the joints.

Described by Day as "a courageous battler for and mighty exemplar of naturalism," Dreiser (1871-1945) uses elements familiar from his great books "Sister Carrie" and "An American Tragedy" to create the 15 character sketches in this work. With little control over their own fates, his heroines here are trapped by economic and social forces they little understand. Most come from immigrant families, as did the author himself, and seek to escape their working class background for the glitter of wealth and acquisition that constitutes the American Dream in Dreiser's works. In its design, the binding here has the same austere Art Deco feeling of others done by Whitman Bennett.