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On the Road.
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On the Road.

Published: New York: The Viking Press, 1957

Stock code: 81414

Price: £80,000

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First edition, first printing, presentation copy to Pieter W. Fosburgh and his wife Liza, inscribed by the author in red crayon, “To Peter [sic] and Liza Fosburgh, Writing in red crayon in memory of the Red House, Jack Kérouac [sic] (Idiot) (St. Jack of the Germs)” [the last five words in pencil]. A fascinating presentation. Pieter Whitney Fosburgh (1915–1978), author of the proto-conservationist book, The Natural Thing: the Land and its Citizens (New York: Macmillan, 1959), was editor of New York State’s Department of Conservation magazine. As his middle name indicates he was descended through his mother from the socially prominent Whitney family of Massachusetts. His brothers James and Hugh were also naturalists, art critics, writers, and artists. After Pieter’s death his widow Liza lived in Cherry Plain, New York, and wrote children’s books. The reference to “the Red House” must surely be to the large redbrick St Louis School in the Centralville section of Lowell, Massachusetts, the elementary school which Kerouac attended from April 1929 through the fourth grade.

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Octavo. Original black boards, titles to spine and upper board in white. With the dust jacket. Housed in a quarter red morocco box. Spine a little rolled but an excellent copy in the slightly creased and lightly frayed dust jacket.

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