"WITH LOVE FROM EDITH": PRESENTATION FIRST EDITION OF THE GODS ARRIVE, 1932, INSCRIBED IN THE MONTH OF PUBLICATION BY EDITH WHARTON
WHARTON, Edith. The Gods Arrive. New York: London: D. Appleton, 1932. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6800.
First edition of the last novel Wharton completed, the work she considered her "greatest challenge," praised as one of her "final attempts to sum up the artist's life," a lovely presentation copy inscribed by her in the month of publication, "For Simon & Molly With love from Edith, September 1932."
To Wharton, Hudson River Bracketed (1929) and The Gods Arrive were "one extended enterprise." They contrast the morals and social conventions of the Midwest with settled New York society, and England with continental Europe. The Gods Arrive, the last novel she completed, "was published in book form in September 1932. As Edith explained to Robert Grant, writing it had proved more difficult than expected… In an interview with Eleanor Carroll, associate editor of the Delineator, Edith was quoted as saying that her ambition was to portray the 'halfgods that are worshiped by all people—but especially by the creative artist—the mistakes, the sufferings, the glimpses of glory, that go into the painful perfecting of the human spirit.' This goal was perhaps the greatest challenge she had undertaken as a writer" (Benstock, No Gifts from Chance). Biographer Cynthia Griffin Wolff calls these novels "her final attempts to sum up the artist's life." First edition, first issue with "(1)" on page 432. Binding variant A (no priority established), dust jacket variant B (no priority established). Garrison A45.I.a.
Text fine, minute edge-wear, mild toning to spine; lightest toning to spine of bright dust jacket. A lovely about-fine inscribed copy.