8 April 2003
KEROUAC, Jack. Maggie Cassidy. New York: Avon, 1959.
8o. Specially bound in half black morocco, morocco lettering-pieces, top edge gilt; original pictorial wrappers bound in. Provenance: Gabrielle Kerouac (presentation inscription from the author).
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY KEROUAC TO HIS MOTHER on the front flyleaf: "To Mémêre from Ti Jean Read in here on page 80 to 84 about Papa Léo Jean XXX."
THE ONLY INSCRIBED COPY OF 'MAGGIE CASSIDY' TO APPEAR AT AUCTION according to American Book Prices Current, and a copy with a highly signifigant association. A copy of The Dharma Bums also inscribed to his mother was sold in the Library of Roger Rechler, Christie's New York, 11 October 2002, lot 181.
Gabrielle Kerouac was central to Jack Kerouac's personality and development as a writer. In Women of the Beat Generation, a letter from Gabrielle to Jack exemplifies their attachment: "Honey, I'm still not able to realize that you have left me for good. I keep searching the Boulevard looking out the window for hours thinking I'll see you come walking and waving to me. I dare say I miss you a lot now and more so now that I know you don't belong to me anymore but that's life and sooner or later I'll get used to the idea. I hope you will be very happy, Honey, and that nothing will ever stop you from being a great 'Man.' With the help of your new Mother and a good Wife you should become a great 'writer.'" Despite his wanderlust and continual travel, Kerouac always returned to mémêre. Jack was living in St. Petersburg, Florida with his mother and his wife Stella when he died in 1969. Kerouac's inscription refers his mother to the section of the book which reflects on his relationship with his father. Charters A7.
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