"OF THE BOOKS CONCERNED WITH FOLK-SONG, THAT OF PROFESSOR WHITE IS THE WIDEST-RANGING AND THE PROFOUNDEST": AMERICAN NEGRO FOLK-SONGS, 1928 FIRST EDITION
(BLACK AMERICANA) WHITE, Newman I. American Negro Folk-Songs. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1928. Octavo, original green cloth, gilt-lettered front board and spine, top edge gilt, partially unopened. $800.
1928 first edition of Newman White's authoritative American Negro Folk-Songs.
Newman White, professor of English at Duke University, was a noted Shelley scholar as well as a folklorist. "[The] print order [for American Negro Folk-Songs] ran one thousand five copies in 1928. . . A large portion of the thousand that went out is no doubt in university libraries, so it is not likely that this book is in very many homes, even folklorists', right now. . . Reviews on publication were excellent. . . Louise Pound, reviewing it for Saturday Review of Literature (October 13, 1928), said that American Negro Folk-Songs 'is not an anthology merely, or even primarily, though it includes innumerable texts. It is a thorough and independent treatment of Negro folk-song, its origins, history, types, and its relation to the poetry of the whites. It is well and sympathetically written and may be accepted at once as authoritative' . . . Of the books concerned with folk-song, that of Professor White is the widest-ranging and the profoundest. He utilizes what has been done by others, subjects the available material to careful examination, and interprets it in a manifestly unprejudiced way. Not the least valuable feature of his work is its fine bibliography" (Jackson, from the Foreword to the 1965 edition). The fourteen main book sections include Religious Songs, Social Songs, Work Songs, Songs about Women, The Seamier Side, Race Consciousness, and Upstart Crows, with hundreds of lyrics, excerpts and variations, and fifteen samples of musical notation. White also co-edited the 1924 Anthology of Verse by American Negroes, in preparation for which he had corresponded with W. E. B. Du Bois. Without original dust jacket. Blockson 7895. Work, 434.
A fine copy.