Robber Bridegroom

Eudora WELTY

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Item#: 124452 price:$7,200.00

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EXCEPTIONAL FIRST EDITION OF EUDORA WELTY’S FIRST NOVEL, THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM, WARMLY INSCRIBED IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION TO COUPERY SHANDS, THE BROTHER OF WELTY'S CHILDHOOD FRIEND AIMEE SHANDS WALSH

WELTY, Eudora. The Robber Bridegroom. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran, 1942. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $7200.

First edition of Welty’s imaginative first novel, warmly inscribed in the year of publication to Coupery Shands, the brother of Welty's childhood friend and Columbia University classmate Aimee Shands Walsh: "To Coupery Shands with all my fond wishes, Eudora Welty. December, 1942."

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). Alfred Kazan praised Welty's ability to evoke the "fabulous innocence of our departed frontier, the easy carelessness, the fond bragging… Miss Welty can capture it only because… 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). This copy is inscribed to Wilbourn Coupery Shands, a prominent Mississippi surgeon and the brother of Eudora Welty's close friend, Aimee Shands Walsh. Walsh attended high school with Eudora Welty and later joined her at Columbia University in 1930. Welty and Walsh were friends for much of their lives; Walsh's granddaughter recalled visiting with Welty frequently when she spent time with her grandmother during summer vacations.

Book near-fine, just a few tiny spots to interior and spine leaning slightly. Dust jacket with a few faint posts of foxing and shallow expert restoration to corners and spine ends. A lovely copy with desirable provenance.

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