FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION/ASSOCIATION COPY, OF FIRST LADY ELEANOR ROOSEVELT'S YOU LEARN BY LIVING, WARMLY INSCRIBED BY HER TO HER UNCLE, DAVID GRAY, THE MINISTER TO IRELAND UNDER FDR AND TRUMAN
ROOSEVELT, Eleanor. You Learn by Living. New York: Harper & Brothers, (1960). Octavo, original half black cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition, presentation copy, of the beloved former First Lady and UN Human Rights ambassador's heartfelt work on how to discover life's lessons, inscribed by Roosevelt to her uncle, David Gray, the Minister to Ireland during World War II: "To David Gray with love & admiration. E.R."
You Learn by Living won praise at its publication as inspiring evidence of Eleanor Roosevelt's decision to "make a new kind of success of her life. She is playing a new role, a role set squarely in the range of action… The philosophy she offers us here comes from this experience… The importance of this role and of Mrs. Roosevelt's position is that her victory over fear and emergence into the world coincided with that of a whole generation of women. Mrs. Roosevelt, in short, is a child of her time, the first modern American woman" (New York Times). "First Edition" stated on copyright page with code "G-K," indicating publication in July 1960. This copy is inscribed to David Gray, Eleanor Roosevelt's uncle by marriage. Gray was a World War I hero who was later appointed minister to Ireland by FDR beginning in 1940 and continuing under Truman through the first two years of the Cold War. Gray was known for his somewhat antagonistic style while in the post—arguing against Irish neutrality, asserting that Taoiseach (PM) de Valera believed the Nazis would win, and contending that high-level Irish officials were collaborating with Germany. His behavior led de Valera to call for his removal many time, but family relationships proved stronger than Ireland's indignation. A D. Litt from Bowdoin, Gray published poems, plays, and novels throughout his life. With laid-in typed letter signed from David Gray to his niece, Marie (the daughter-in-law of Eleanor Roosevelt's first cousin, William Forbes Morgan, Jr.). Typed on Bayou House, Sarasota stationery, the letter reads: "Personally typed. November 29, 1962. My very dear Marie: It looks as if I couldn't have you and Forbes for the Christmas holidays. I have had to make so many readjustments since my plan for you and your Children coming to Florida fell through that I find myself full up at that time. My love to you all. God Bless you. [signed] Uncle D."
Book about-fine, bright dust jacket very good with slight foxing and soiling and a bit of wear and shallow chipping to extremities. A most desirable signed presentation copy with excellent provenance.