22 June 2010
FAULKNER, William. Big Woods. New York: Random House, 1955.
8o. Illustrated by Edward Shenton. Original green cloth; pictorial dust jacket (slight rubbing to extremities); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: MAUD FAULKNER, his mother (presentation inscription).
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY FAULKNER TO HIS MOTHER on the front free endpaper: "To Mother with love William Faulkner." ADDITIONALLY INSCRIBED on the title-page: "William Faulkner Oxford, Miss. 28 Nov. 1955."
A collection of four previously published hunting stories with five interchapters (or "interrupted catalysts" as Faulkner called them) at the beginning and end of the book and between chapters to set or change the mood. The stories include "The Bear," "The Old People," "A Bear Hunt," and "Race at Morning." Although all the material was previously published, only "The Old People" remained unchanged from its original form. It is illustrated by Edward Shenton, who also illustrated The Unvanquished and some other Faulkner stories in The Saturday Evening Post. Big Woods was Faulkner's last story collection published during his lifetime.
Inscribed copies of Big Woods are very scarce, especially with such close family association. The only other two inscribed copies to appear at auction in the last thirty years are the uncorrected galley proofs inscribed to Malcolm Cowley (the Goodwin copy which sold in 1977) and the Roger Rechler copy inscribed to his great-aunt Bama (sold Christies New York, 11 October 2002, lot 85). Massey 424; Peterson A44.1.
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