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BLACK SPRING - INSCRIBED TO HUNTINGTON CAIRNS by  Henry Miller - Signed First Edition - 1936 - from Captain Ahab's Rare Books (SKU: 2724)

BLACK SPRING - INSCRIBED TO HUNTINGTON CAIRNS

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BLACK SPRING - INSCRIBED TO HUNTINGTON CAIRNS

by Miller, Henry

  • Used
  • Signed
  • first
Condition
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About This Item

Paris: The Obelisk Press, 1936. First Edition. Superb copy of Miller's second novel inscribed to Huntington Cairns, a young Baltimore lawyer who in September 1934 was appointed official U.S. Censor by the Secretary of the Treasury. It was Cairns who declared Miller's 1934 novel Tropic of Cancer (and subsequently, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn, and The Rosy Crucifixion) obscene based on the laws of the day, despite his admiration for Miller as an author and artist. His decision led to a 25-year correspondence and friendship between censor and author. In May 1936, Cairns received a letter from Miller, who had been corresponding with H.L. Mencken, to whom he had sent a copy of Tropic of Cancer that had eluded the U.S. Customs Bureau. Mencken told Miller of Cairns's "interest and bewilderment" in the book. Miller assured Cairns, "I appreciate your position and the attitude you have taken." He offered to send Cairns a copy of his second book, Black Spring, which Obelisk had recently issued. Cairns, no doubt concerned lest Miller try to mail another obscene book directly to him, the censor, wrote back to tell Miller that he would be in Paris in August and would pick up a copy of the book while there. The two men met, and during Cairns' visit he explained to Miller "the problem of Tropic of Cancer." After Cairns' departure, Miller sent him a copy of a favorable review of Cancer that had appeared in Eliot's periodical Criterion in England. Cairns wrote back that he had read Black Spring on the return voyage. "It filled me with admiration. I know of no other writer in English who is more naturally a novelist or who writes anything approaching your power" (Hoyle, Arthur. "My Friend the Censor": Henry Miller, Huntington Cairns, and Tropic of Cancer"). Shifreen & Jackson A12a; Miers & Armstrong 46. One of 1,000 copies. Octavo (19.25cm); illustrated wrappers with French flaps; 267,[5]pp. Inscribed by the author two months following publication on the first blank page: "To Huntington Cairns / with all best wishes - in rememberance of pleasant days in Paris. Henry Miller / 8/36." Light wear and toning to spine and extremities, along with some mild dust-soil to wrappers; clean internally; Very Good+. Housed in a custom clamshell case.

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Details

Bookseller
Captain Ahab's Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
2724
Title
BLACK SPRING - INSCRIBED TO HUNTINGTON CAIRNS
Author
Miller, Henry
Book condition
Used
Quantity-available
1
Edition
First Edition
Publisher
The Obelisk Press
Place of Publication
Paris
Date Published
1936

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About the Seller

Captain Ahab's Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.com member since 2010
Stephenson, Virginia
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About Captain Ahab's Rare Books

Founded in 2010, Captain Ahab's Rare Books specializes in first editions of literature, genre fiction, film-related books and ephemera, zines, manuscript and archival material.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

inscribed
When a book is described as being inscribed, it indicates that a short note written by the author or a previous owner has been... [More]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
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... [More]
good+
A term used to denote a condition a slight grade better than Good.
wrappers
The paper covering on the outside of a paperback. Also see the entry for pictorial wraps, color illustrated coverings for... [More]

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