July 2022 Catalogue

Black Americana and Abolition – 39 – Bauman Rare Books - July 2022 First Edition Of Oscar Micheaux’s Homesteader— His “First Self-Published Novel”—Inspiration For His First Film Of The Same Name That Launched His Extraordinary Career 65. MICHEAUX, Oscar. The Homesteader. Sioux City, Iowa, 1917. Octavo, original gilt-stamped burgundy cloth. $1250. First edition of Micheaux’s groundbreaking novel that triggered his start as writer, director and producer in a career that defied the odds and created “a prototype for African American independent cinema,” (Oxford Companion to African American Literature), with seven full-page illustrations including frontispiece, in original cloth. Micheaux based this novel, whose “publication was the most singular event of his entire life,” on his experience as a Black homesteader in the West (Learthen Dorsey). His “first self-published novel,” it offers “a striking resemblance to his own life,” and furthers themes in his first two novels, Conquest (1913) and Forged Note (1915) (ANB). Without very scarce dust jacket. Interior fresh with trace of scattered foxing, faint soiling, minimal rubbing to bright gilt-stamped cloth. A near-fine copy. First Edition Of Oscar Micheaux’s Final Novel, Masquerade 66. MICHEAUX, Oscar. The Masquerade. An Historical Novel. New York, 1947. Octavo, original gilt-stamped maroon cloth, dust jacket. $1000. First edition of Micheaux’s last novel that draws on Charles Chesnutt’s House Behind the Cedars (1900) and “calls into question the mechanisms of history itself” with inclusions of “extended passages from the Lincoln-Douglas debates, Lincoln’s first inaugural address [and] the story of John Brown” (Cremins), very scarce in the colorful dust jacket. The son of former slaves, Micheaux was influenced by Booker T. Washington’s philosophy, “not of destruction but of construction.” In his seven novels and nearly 40 films, he “wanted to claim for Black people the right to status as the new Adams and Eves” (Bowser & Spence, 81). For his final novel, Masquerade, he acted as a film editor splicing “together pieces of film in order to create a coherent, unified and, from his perspective, historically accurate and stirring narrative” (Cremins, 155). Book fine; light edge-wear to price-clipped near-fine dust jacket.