First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the title page to Justin Kaplan, the American writer and editor, “For Justin Kaplan, with gratitude, in admiration, looking forward to remembering Walt Whitman. Donald Hall. 2 April 1979.” A lovely association copy, accompanied by two typed letters signed from Hall to Kaplan, and a photocopied response from Kaplan. The two men discuss the progress of similar and potentially competing projects: biographies of Walt Whitman and collections of literary anecdotes, and the confusion caused by their publisher (“If publishers were automobiles, we would all ride bicycles and there would be no energy problem … In publishing, I don’t think anybody ever knows what upstairs or downstairs are doing.”). With an autograph note signed from Hall announcing a June visit to Cambridge.
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Octavo. Original brown cloth-backed red boards, titles to spine gilt, red endpapers. With the dust jacket. Light foxing to edges, some pencilled annotations to text; an excellent copy in the jacket with sunned spine and some nicks to extremities.