"COME NEXT SUMMER!": FIRST EDITION, ASSOCIATION COPY, OF THE SUMMER KITCHEN (MRS. APPLEYARD'S, OF COURSE), INSCRIBED BY AUTHOR LOUIS ANDREWS KENT TO JULIA CHILD'S CLOSE FRIEND AND KITCHEN COLLEAGUE AVIS DEVOTO
KENT, Louise Andrews and GAY, Elizabeth Kent. The Summer Kitchen (Mrs. Appleyard's, Of Course). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1957. Octavo, original green cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket. $500.
First edition, association copy, of this narrative cookbook bringing back New England staple Mrs. Appleyard, inscribed to Julia Child's friend and kitchen colleague Avis DeVoto: "Come next summer! Avis. Louise Andrews Kent. April 1962."
This series was written by Louise Andrews Kent and her mother, Elizabeth Kent Gay. Louise Kent was an accomplished newspaper columnist, children's book writer, and cookbook author who eventually brought her own personality and experiences to print in the popular Mrs. Appleyard series. Mrs. Appleyard spoke to New England sensibilities and her wit and kindness became a fixture in the region's kitchens, both through the narrative cookbooks and through a long-running feature in Vermont Life magazine. The inscribee of this copy, Avis MacVicar DeVoto, was a prominent cookbook editor at Knopf, a longtime resident of Cambridge, and one of Julia Child's closest friends. DeVoto resided in Cambridge for much of her life with her husband, Bernard DeVoto, who taught in the English department at Harvard. During the 1950s, Avis and Bernard DeVoto were known for hosting a cocktail party every Sunday evening known as "the hour." Tongues loosened by Bernard DeVoto's famed martinis, attending couples would discuss their scholarly achievements, as well as current events, history, and philosophical issues. Avis DeVoto, as an educated career woman, was a central participant in the discussions of "the hour." However, Avis DeVoto is probably best known for her friendship with Julia Child. Their correspondence began over the matter of inferior American paring knives (Bernard had written a column on them, which eventually resulted in Julia sending a French knife to Avis). The two women went on to exchange hundreds of letters, later meeting in Cambridge and cementing a lifelong friendship. Their correspondence covered subjects ranging from cooking to international affairs to life in Cambridge to travel and continues to offer what is perhaps the most complete portrait of Julia Child's life. In fact, it was DeVoto who painstaking edited Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Occasional pencil "X"s.
Book with only mild toning to spine, dust jacket with light wear mainly to extremities and unobtrusive slit to spine. A near-fine copy with an outstanding inscription and association.