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2020-02-06 18:12:05
Debs and the Poets [Two Copies, Inscribed by Eugene Debs and Ruth Le Prade to Helen L. Gardner]
Upton Sinclair, Pasadena, 1920. Poems honoring socialist leader Eugene Debs by a variety of radical 20th century poets including Witter Bynner, Max Eastman, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Carl Sandburg, Siegfried Sassoon, Horace Traubel, and Israel Zangwill, many others. Sinclair contributed the foreword, along with letters from H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw (who states: "Clearly the White House is the only safe place for an honest man like Debs"). An interesting pair of copies inscribed to Gardner (1884-1968), acclaimed stage actress and the first actress to form her own production company. Moved by his circumstances and deeply influenced by his speeches, she visited him in prison in 1920, bringing him an autographed photo and beginning a correspondence that would last through the mid-1920's. In a December 21, 1920 letter, she writes: "Let me tell you that I was surprised to find my emotional self somewhat unaffected while I listened to you talk. I know the reason now. It is the same with you as it was with Epicetus, prison walls cannot confine the spirit -- the mind is ever free. So, in a way, I did not feel your plight as keenly as I would that of another who had little vision, little intelligence, little understanding about his body being so small a part of the real him that his confinement was of the physical order only." While the "special edition" of 500, with signed bookplate by Debs, appears with some frequency, inscribed copies of Debs and the Poets are genuinely uncommon. Two octavo volumes (18.75cm); maroon cloth, with titles stamped in gilt on spine and front c … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Lorne Bair Rare Books, ABAA [Winchester, VA, U.S.A.]
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