“I MAY ALMOST SAY THAT I WAS BORN IN A THEATER…”
JEFFERSON, Joseph. The Autobiography of Joseph Jefferson. New York: Century, (1890). Thick octavo, mid-20th century three-quarter brown morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $400.
First edition of one of the 19th-century’s best known stage actor’s memoirs, with frontispiece portrait of the author and 78 portraits and views, handsomely bound by Zaehnsdorf.
“Although he appeared primarily in the standard melodramatic fare of his age, where subtlety in acting was rarely a virtue, Jefferson is widely credited with introducing ‘a fresher and truer naturalism than out state—perhaps any stage—had seen’ (Watson, 421). He creatively combined sentimental romance, pathos and ethnic comedy, and his characterization of Rip [Van Winkle] brought to fruition the comic techniques he had been refining in his first 30 years on the stage… Dignified, generous, reflective and beloved, Joseph Jefferson epitomized the best of the American theater” (ANB).
Front board with corners lightly bumped. An about-fine copy, handsomely bound.