Hudson River Bracketed.London, New York, D. Appleton and Company, 1929 Stock Code: 131588
NotesFirst edition, UK issue. The dedication copy, with the author's presentation inscription to the dedication leaf incorporating the printed dedication, "To A.J.H.S. From E.W. December 1929". The dedicatee was John Hugh Smith, a wealthy English banker who met Wharton at Stanway in 1908. The two became fast friends and "embarked on a friendly, even flirtatious correspondence" (Lee, p. 248). Hughes had an important role in Wharton's inner circle and in 1911 she described him in a letter to Theodore Roosevelt as "an extremely brilliant and delightful young Englishman... he is a great friend of mine, of Henry James's, and of many of our friends". She notes that although he was in the banking business in Newcastle, "what makes him worthwhile is that, with a keen interest in practical affairs, he continues a passion for ideas and a great love of books and art, so that he is one of the most versatile and discriminating companions I know". As their relationship developed his "youthful crush on her graduated into a steady, undemanding, lifelong friendship. In later life, he became the most reactionary and old-fashioned member of her regular circle" (Lee, p. 249).
Hudson River Bracketed was originally serialized in the Delineator from the end of 1928, although its publication was not smooth running. The first instalments were published without Wharton's permission as she had not yet completed the work at the time they were issued. Indignant at this slight, especially so due to the fact the delay was primarily caused by illness, Wharton preceded to send the completed manuscript to Appleton for publication in book form in November 1929, prior to its serialised completion in the Delineator. The present UK issue was released in the same year with a revised title page and the number 2 in brackets at the end of the text.
Octavo. Original blue pebble-grain cloth, titles and decoration to spine and front cover in gilt, cream endpapers, fore and bottom edges untrimmed. With the supplied dust jacket. Housed in a red morocco-backed solander box by the Chelsea Bindery.
Spine faded, slight wear to spine ends and very tips, a couple of faint marks to cloth, contents a little toned, rear inner hinge cracked but firm, gauze visible to endpaper gutter; a very good copy in the jacket with browned spine, slight nicks and chips to extremities.
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