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Tales of Tahitian Waters
1931 - GREY, Zane. Tales of Tahitian Waters. New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1931. Tall quarto, original red cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $2200.First edition of Grey’s colorful account of saltwater fishing in Tahitian waters, including the electrifying tale of his long battle with a striped marlin, making Grey “the first person to land a 1,000-pound fish on sporting tackle,” wonderfully illustrated with 49 sepia halftones of photographs (45 full page), including frontispiece and two halftones of watercolors.One of America’s most famed western novelists, Zane Grey evoked a vision of the Southwest that continues to endure. Yet his “life as a hunter, fisherman and wanderer was far more romantic than that of any of his fictional characters” (Rieger, Best of Zane Grey, viii). In his pursuit of saltwater fishing, Grey’s “determination to catch the biggest fish carried him to Nova Scotia, the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Tahiti and Australia… His nine books about these adventures, all entitled Tales of… contain some of his best writing” (Pauly, Zane Grey, 4). In addition to his many colorful stories in this scarce first edition of Tahitian Waters, Grey concludes with a vivid account of his battle with a striped marlin that made him the “first person to land a 1,000-pound fish on sporting tackle.” Grey recalls the moment when “a white splash, high as a tree, shot up, out of which leaped the most magnificent of all the leaping fish I had ever seen.” After hours of pursuit, Grey suddenly spotted sharks swarming around the weaking marlin and writes: “I saw a blue tail so wide I thought I was crazy. It threw a six-foot yellow shark into the air.” Struggling to fight off sharks and bring in the swordfish, Grey and his crew saw the marlin’s body “was as large as that of an ox. And to it sharks were clinging, tearing… Blood and water flew all over us.” The “authoritative list of records for 1933, prepared by Grey’s friends at the Museum of Natural History, cited this catch as the world record for striped marlin. This first landing of a fish over 1,000 pounds on rod and reel brought Grey a euphoric sense of achievement” (Pauly, 286-88). With “First Edition,” code “I-F” on copyright page (indicating publication in September 1931). Thacher “1st ed, 1st iss.” Copies found in red cloth (this copy), and in green cloth; no priority established. Without rarely found slipcase. Bruns G180 (“scarce”). Thacher, 219. Sheets, 44. Bookplate.Book fine; some chipping, slight dampstaining, faint toning to spine, tape reinforcement to scarce very good dust jacket. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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