HENRY VAN DYKE’S WORKS, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR, DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS, JR.’S COPY
VAN DYKE, Henry. The Works of Henry Van Dyke. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920-27. Eighteen volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown morocco gilt, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, top edges gilt, uncut. $4000.
“Autograph” edition, number 324 of 504 sets, signed by Van Dyke on the frontispiece portrait in Volume I. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.’s copy, with his bookplates.
Poet, naturalist, minister, and diplomat, Van Dyke was one of the great polymaths of early 20th-century America. His work here includes poetry, Studies in Tennyson (the best critical appraisal of the poet at the time, according to Tennyson himself), and much of his writing on angling and nature. With bookplates of actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Compared to his swashbuckling father, Douglas Jr. was “more voguishly handsome than his father” (Thomson, 281); he was awarded the United States Navy’s Legion of Merit, the Italian War Cross, the French Legiond’honneur and the Croix de guerre, and the British Distinguished Service cross for his service in World War II.