“A MASTERPIECE… THE HISTORY OF MAINSTREAM AMERICAN LITERATURE”
BROOKS, Van Wyck. The Flowering of New England, 1815-1865. WITH: New England: Indian Summer, 1865-1915. WITH: The World of Washington Irving. WITH: The Times of Melville and Whitman. WITH: The Confident Years, 1885-1915. [New York]: E.P. Dutton, 1936-52. Five volumes. Octavo, original cloth, uncut, original dust jackets (I-IV). Housed in custom chemises and half morocco slipcases (four red, one maroon). $1100.
First edition of Brooks’ five-volume history of classic American works and writers of the 19th and early 20th century, with its Pulitzer Prize-winning volume, The Flowering of New England, annotated with his edits and inscribed, “This copy of the first edition of “The Flowering of New England” contains a number of corrections which I made in later editions of the book. Van Wyck Brooks, March: 1948.”
"One of the important literary critics of his era… Van Wyck Brooks wrote his five-volume masterpiece, Makers and Finders: A History of the Writer in America, 1800-1915" over two decades, beginning with the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Flowering of New England in 1936 and ending with The Confident Years in 1952. In its pages he traced "the history of mainstream American literature… [and] helped fellow American intellectuals, and less academically trained readers as well… appreciate the accomplishments of all the major and many of the minor figures in America's complex literary past" (ANB). All first editions, with the margins of Flowering of New England annotated throughout with lightly penciled notations incorporated into later editions. Flowering without original dust jacket; with inscription written over traces of earlier erasure. Slipcase labels identify volumes in the order stated by Brooks rather than chronological order.
Flowering with slight embrowning to endpaper, light rubbing to cloth; tape repair for reinforcement only to verso of original dust jacket. Remaining four volumes clean and bright. A lovely about-fine first-edition set, rare complete and inscribed.