4 December 2009,
New York, Rockefeller Plaza
Price Realised USD 17,500
Estimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000
WOLFE, Thomas (1900-1938). Look Homeward, Angel. A Story of the Buried Life. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.
8o. Original blue cloth; dust jacket (a few chips with some loss, repaired tear on spine and back panel). Provenance: George Matthew Adams, American newspaper columnist (presentation inscription from the author).
FIRST EDITION OF WOLFE'S FIRST AND GREATEST BOOK, first state jacket with Wolfe's photo by Doris Ulmann on rear panel. PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by Wolfe to George Matthew Adams in the front free endpaper: "For George Matthew Adams -- with thanks because he has bought my books and kept them and valued them -- which is the kind of reward for which a writer lives and works. Thomas Wolfe. Oct. 30, 1935."
Look Homeward, Angel is the first of Wolfe's four thinly disguised autobiographical novels chronicling life near Asheville, North Carolina. No one denied the greatness of Wolfe's controversial first book, including Sinclair Lewis, who in his Nobel Prize speech the following year named Wolfe among the most promising of the younger generation of writers. Laid-in: WOLFE. Autograph letter signed from Wolfe to Madeleine Boyd, May 18, , in which he mentions the book and asks for her help in getting it published; a cancelled check signed by Wolfe and made payable to the Hill Top Liquor Store; a typed letter signed from Elizabeth Newell to Adams, April 30, 1949, regarding Wolfe's letter to Mrs. Boyd; an advertising wrapper for the novel with a review blurb from Sinclair Lewis (most likely issued for later editions). Johnson A2.1.a.
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