“A MINSTREL’S LIFE WAS THE LIFE FOR ME”: FIRST EDITION OF A HISTORY OF AMERICAN MINSTRELSY
RICE, Edward LeRoy. Monarchs of Minstrelsy From “Daddy” Rice to Date. New York: Kenny, (1911). Quarto, original blue cloth gilt, mounted black-and-white cover portraits. $850.
First edition of a vintage history of minstrelsy in America, with numerous illustrations.
This history of minstrelsy in 19th-century America, written by the son of well-known black-face performer, is lavishly illustrated with images of playbills, cartoons and minstrelsy troupes, along with portraits and biographies of white performers who went on stage in black-face as musicians, pantomimists, “musical mokes,” female impersonators, banjo players, “wench dancers” and comedians, with particular focus on leading acts and figures such as John Diamond, Christy’s Minstrels, Joel Walker Sweeney, the Buckley Serenaders and Thomas Dartmouth Rice—the original “Jim Crow.” 15 pages of advertisements at rear. Work, 445. Bookplate affixed over previous owner signature.
Slight embrowning to edges as usual, single closed tear to page 204, loss to lower corners of pages 205-207 without affecting text or images; bright gilt cloth with slight edge-wear to extremities of near-fine book.