"MIGHT WELL BE ABOUT A BRILLIANT AND ALL-TOO-HUMAN DICTATOR IN MODERN TIMES" (KURT VONNEGUT)
WILDER, Thornton. The Ides of March. New York, London: Harper & Brothers, (1948 [i.e. 1947]). Octavo, original navy paper boards, original dust jacket.
First trade edition, issued along with a signed limited edition (750 copies), of Wilder's "rich and human novel," inscribed on the title page by him, "Raymond L— Best wishes, Thornton Wilder, Hamden Conn. July 19 1970."
Wilder's widely-praised novels and plays "lifted him to the front ranks of American men of letters. He won three Pulitzer Prizes, the first in 1928 for the novel Bridge of San Luis Rey; the second in 1938 for the play Our Town, and the third in 1943 for the drama Skin of Our Teeth." After serving in the Army in WWII, Wilder returned home to write Ides of March. A historical novel set in Rome at the time of Julius Caesar, it won praise as "a rich and human novel" (New York Times). Kurt Vonnegut, in his forward to a 2003 edition of Ides of March, wrote: "the Julius Caesar in this book, literate, well read, unburdened by ignorance and superstition, is in all respects a modern man. Ides of March, while set in Rome, might well be about a brilliant and all-too-human dictator in modern times, and what it could be like for the men and women who are close to one. The book's lesson… is that it is human nature which does not change, no matter the era or situation." Critics have observed that although "Wilder does not make the point explicitly, it is clear enough that he considered Ides of March part of the effort to marshal resistance to fascism" (Koelb, Legendary Figures, 89). First edition, first printing: with "First Edition M-W" on copyright page indicating publication in December 1947. Bruccoli & Clark III:368.
Text fine with minimal edge-wear to book; lightest edge-wear to bright dust jacket. A handsome about-fine inscribed copy.