"THE POWER OF A PURE, EXQUISITE STYLE": FIRST EDITION OF EUDORA WELTY'S FIRST NOVEL, THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM
WELTY, Eudora. The Robber Bridegroom. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran, 1942. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $1200.
First edition of Welty's critically praised first novel, an exuberant and imaginative "modern fairy tale."
Welty's Robber Bridegroom won immediate praise on publication as "a modern fairy tale, where irony and humor, outright nonsense, deep wisdom and surrealistic extravaganzas become a poetic unity through the power of a pure, exquisite style. Like Thomas Mann in The Transposed Heads, she has chosen an ancient theme to write a modern story." Alfred Kazan especially praised Welty's ability to evoke the "fabulous innocence of our departed frontier, the easy carelessness, the fond bragging… she is writing out of joy in the world she has restored, and with an eye toward the comedy and poetry embedded in it" (New York Times). In a 1965 interview Welty recalled The Robber Bridegroom: "I had such a good time writing it! I had been working for the WPA or for the Mississippi Advertising Commission… I had to do a lot of reading on the Natchez Trace… Reading these primary sources… fired my imagination. I thought how much like fairy tales all those things were. And so I just sat down and wrote The Robber Bridegroom in a great spurt of pleasure" (Prenshaw, Conversations with Eudora Welty, 24). "First Edition" stated on copyright page. Bruccoli & Clark I:407.
Book fine, dust jacket with light wear and toning to extremities. A near-fine copy.