GERSHWIN, George.

Warm one-page typed letter signed to noted publisher and editor Donald S. Friede.

New York: 13 January, 1927 Stock Code: 130229
£3,750.00
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" I shall no doubt make the comment you use after reading the book"

An appealing, highly characteristic letter evoking Gershwin's easy-going sociability. Writing to the publisher Friede, Gershwin regrets having been unable to read Philip Barry's new play, but gives permission for his name to be appended to any suitable words of praise the publishers care to use, "as I shall no doubt make the comment you use after reading the book".

Friede was at the time vice-president at Boni & Liveright, later cofounder of Covici-Friede, publishers of Radclyffe Hall, Wyndham Lewis, Nathaniel West, and Steinbeck, and later still husband of M. F. K. Fisher.

The play in discussion was Barry's White Wings. Despite good reviews, the experimental play had been a complete failure, managing just 27 performances at the Booth Theatre the previous year. The play follows a group of proud street cleaners at the turn of the 20th century and laments the increasing mechanization of life. Barry is much better remembered for his high-society comedies Holiday (1929) and The Philadelphia Story (1939), both of which were later filmed with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant. In 1927 he had just decamped to France with his family and was living on the Riviera, part of a social circle that included Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gerald and Sara Murphy, Cole Porter, and Archibald MacLeish.

Gershwin regrets that due to an absence from New York, he has not had time to read "Phillip Barry's play White Wings" and is "consequently at a loss to comment on it". However, he is "sure that it is an interesting piece of writing & I would be only too glad to have you use a quote from me on the jacket and feel that if you would care to tack my signature on to a few words of praise it would be perfectly justifiable as I shall no doubt make the comment you use after reading the book".

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Description

Single page on Gershwin's personal stationery, pale blue, embossed with his name and W. 103rd St. address in black.

Condition

Soft creases from original mailing folds, mild toning at the margins, small pale splash mark, text unaffected, good strong signature in black ink, very good.

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