"FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT HIS BOOK. ER": FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT'S COPY OF JOHN HENRY NASH'S LMITED EDITION OF POPE'S ESSAY ON CRITICISM, WITH FDR'S LIBRARY BOOKLABELS AND ELEANOR ROOSEVELT'S AUTOGRAPH PROVENANCE NOTATIONS AND SIGNATURE IN EACH VOLUME
(ROOSEVELT, Eleanor) (ROOSEVELT, Franklin D.) POPE, Alexander. An Essay on Criticism. WITH: Facsimile [1711 first edition]. San Francisco: Printed for William Andrews Clark, Jr. by John Henry Nash, 1928. Slim folio (9 by 13 inches) and slim octavo, original parchment and blue paper boards, top edge gilt, uncut, original slipcase. $3500.
Limited edition, one of only 250 copies, of renowned printer John Henry Nash's publication of Pope's Essay on Criticism, comprising both a beautifully printed folio volume and an octavo facsimile of poet and dramatist John Drinkwater's copy of Pope's Essay in original slipcase. FDR's copy with his numbered library booklabels and autograph provenance inscriptions by Eleanor Roosevelt reading: "Franklin D. Roosevelt his book. ER" and "FDR. ER."
An Essay on Criticism (1711) is often considered to be Alexander Pope's second major poem. "This poem, which has an intellectual brilliance and eloquence of a kind required by neither pastoral nor epic, deviates into a different track, that of the familiar, discursive, Horatian poem, something like Horace's Ars poetica, Vida's Renaissance Poetica, and the late seventeenth-century English rhyming essays of the earls of Mulgrave and Roscommon. Pope's art here is essentially diplomatic: the intellectual and historical reach of the poem is amazing, but it seeks to dramatize only to modify and reconcile contrary views" (DNB). This copy, comprising both a beautiful folio printing and a smaller octavo facsimile of poet John Drinkwater's copy of the first edition (including a reproduction of his signature and edition notes on the front free endpaper), was printed in a limited edition of 250 copies by artisan San Francisco printer John Henry Nash for private distribution by philanthropist Williams Andrew Clark, Jr. (son of the senator and copper baron). This copy is unnumbered. This copy was given to Franklin D. Roosevelt and bears his numbered library booklabels. Additionally, Eleanor Roosevelt has inscribed both copies with provenance information: "Franklin D. Roosevelt his book. ER" in the folio volume and "FDR. ER" in the facsimile. Between the death of FDR and the donation of Hyde Park to the National Park Service, many of the books in FDR's personal library were distributed to family members. Ultimately, many found their way to auction. Books that were put up for auction by Eleanor Roosevelt were all initialed by her for provenance; this is one such copy.
Only a very light scattered foxing to folio volume, a few slight rub marks and mild toning to both volumes, original slipcase with only light wear. A nearly fine copy with most distinguished provenance.