LOUIS AUCHINCLOSS' BIOGRAPHY OF EDITH WHARTON, HIS OWN COPY, WITH HIS BOOKPLATE AND LAID-IN ADDITIONAL MATERIAL
(WHARTON, Edith) AUCHINCLOSS, Louis. Edition Wharton: A Woman in Her Time. New York: Viking, (1971). Octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco gilt, raised bands, top edge gilt. $1100.
First edition of Auchincloss' biography of Edith Wharton, his own copy, with his signed bookplate and other related material—including autograph corrections by Auchincloss.
Auchincloss, who also edited a collection of Wharton's works, was a fitting choice of biographer for Wharton, given their joint interest in chronicling the lives of America's elite in the 19th and 20th centuries. This is Auchincloss' own copy, with his signed bookplate and in a special leather binding. Tipped into this copy are numerous photographs with notes in Auchincloss' hand and a signed letter from John Davis Lodge, then the American Ambassador to Argentina. The letter, dated 1971 and on American Embassy stationery, reads in part: "Dear Mr. Auchincloss: Thank you for your letter dated November 15, enclosing a photograph which appeared in your biography of Edith Wharton and which you have captioned 'Edith Wharton with an unidentified friend.' The 'unidentified friend' is indeed I, and it was taken in the garden of Mrs. Wharton's beautiful house at St. Brice Sous Foret, Seine Et Oise. Judging by the clothes which I am wearing, I would guess that the photograph was taken in the autumn of 1935. In that year I had come to Paris with my wife to act in the French motion picture, Koenigsmark… Since Mrs. Wharton was such an intimate friend of both my father and my Mother, I have sent to Washington for some copies of your book. I shall read it with great interest. Working with our Cultural Attaché here at the Embassy, I shall attempt to obtain appropriate mention of your book, particularly in the literary pages of LA PRENSA and LA NACION. I appreciate your intention to correct the reference in any future editions. I do hope that sometime you will be coming down this way. With all best wishes, Sincerely, [signed] John Davis Lodge." In addition to serving as American Ambassador to Argentina, Spain, and Switzerland, Lodge served in the House of Representatives from Connecticut from 1947 to 1951 and as Governor of Connecticut from 1951 to 1955. His brother was the noted American Senator and diplomat Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Additionally, there are photographs pasted in of locations from Wharton's life (such as her country house, The Mount), with notations in Auchincloss' hand of the relevant page numbers. With Louis Auchincloss' bookplate.
Interior fine, green morocco binding toned to brown. FIX — repaste in the letter.