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Bethel Merriday

Bethel Merriday

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Bethel Merriday

by Lewis, Sinclair [Harry] (1885-1951)

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
Better than very good/Dust Jacket Included
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This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Fort Worth, Texas, United States
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About This Item

[i-vi]+vii-viii+[ix-x]+390 pages. Octavo (8 7/16" x 5 3/4") bound in original publisher's red cloth with initials "SL" impressed on cover decorated with impressed laurel branch superimposed over cover initials; gilt title in black rectangle on spine; author's name in black on gilt rectangle on spine. Dust jacket in blue with red and white banner on cover lettered in verso, gilt and white on spine. 33,250 printed of the first edition in dust jacket. (Pastore:259) First edition. In the Summer of 1939, Lewis and Fay Wray collaborated loosely on a play titled (and unpublished) Angela is Twenty-Two. Lewis did the writing with the intention of playing the male lead; Fay Wray helped with the staging and visual dramatics. Lewis became more involved with drama and acting, even so far as joining Actors Equity, sponsored by Helen Hayes. When the play opened on December 30, 1939, it was well-received leading Lewis to take it on the road where he not only acted but directed as well. This tour became the narrative framework of Bethel Merriday, right down to the young heroine having an affair with the much older director. When the book landed in bookstores, Lewis was in Hollywood negotiating for screen rights to the movie version of the book. while he received $50,000 for these rights, the film was never produced. Total sales for the novel were the lowest of any of his books since Free Air, 48,770 copies were sold through book club and reprints in addition to the first printing which ended up being remaindered in the amount of 9500 of the 33,250 copies of the first edition. The dust jacket, designed by John Falls for Doubleday has a 4th of July motif unrelated to the novel, but patriotic in appearance, apropos America's entry into WWII. The absurd blurb on the verso states "America is made up in equal parts of movie double-features, chewing gum, swing, straight-eights, and Sinclair Lewis, who has made lusty American literature out of all the rest." It is difficult to believe Doubleday, who created the SL - olive branch laureate logo, could have sanctioned this shallow promotional fluff. the irrational collection of cover design, jacket design, content, and promotional in-exactitude made this book the landmark of Lewis's literary decline; in few other cases has the book as artifact so paralleled the chaos of an author's life, the publisher's asyncopy and the nation's ambivalence. (Pastore: 255) Condition: Corners gently bumped. Dust jacket price clipped, spine ends and corners chipped closed tear with crease at front head hinge. A better than very good copy in like jacket.


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The Book Collector ABAA, ILAB, TBA US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
Bethel Merriday
Lewis, Sinclair [Harry] (1885-1951)
Book Condition
Used - Better than very good
Jacket Condition
Dust Jacket Included
Quantity Available
Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc
Place of Publication
Garden City
Date Published
0.00 lbs
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The Book Collector ABAA, ILAB, TBA

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About the Seller

The Book Collector ABAA, ILAB, TBA

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 3 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2005
Fort Worth, Texas

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The blurb refers to the commentary that appears on the dust jacket flaps or the rear of the dustjacket. In the case of a...
Price Clipped
When a book is described as price-clipped, it indicates that the portion of the dust jacket flap that has the publisher's...
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing...
The portion of the book closest to the spine that allows the book to be opened and closed.
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...

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