“A CLASSIC CIVIL WAR AUTOBIOGRAPHY”: FIRST EDITION OF GRANT’S MEMOIRS, WITH GRANT’S SIGNATURE, IN DELUXE PUBLISHER’S BINDING
GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-86. Two volumes. Octavo, original deluxe three-quarter brown morocco, raised bands, circular gilt-stamped medallions on front and rear covers, marbled endpapers and edges.
First edition of “one of the most valuable writings by a military commander in history,” an exceptional copy containing Grant’s signature on a tipped-in card, illustrated with numerous steel engravings, facsimiles, and 43 maps, in handsome publisher’s deluxe binding.
After an ineffectual term as president, ruined by bankruptcy and dying of throat cancer, Grant agreed to publish his memoirs to provide a measure of economic security for his family. Mark Twain agreed to serve as the publisher. Struggling to dictate his notes to a stenographer, Grant finished his memoirs shortly before his death in the summer of 1885. “It seemed to Twain, sitting quietly near him in his bedroom at Sixtieth Street, that Grant had fully regained the stature of a hero” (Kaplan, 273). “No Union list of personal narratives could possibly begin without the story of the victorious general. A truly remarkable work” (New York Times). “Grant’s memoirs comprise one of the most valuable writings by a military commander in history” (Eicher 492). Dornbusch II:1986. Mullins & Reed 35.
Interior generally fresh with very light foxing to preliminaries, minor expert archival repair to foldlines of facsimile leaf (I), small marginal closed tear not affecting text (II:617). A handsome about-fine copy.