"The Study." Original holograph manuscript, for: The Editor's Study.
by WARNER, Charles Dudley (1829-1900).
New York,: Harper's Bazaar, October 1897., 1897. Loose, 22x15 cm. 26 leaves. Laid into unique 3-piece green and crimson gilt-decorated morocco pull-off slip-case, made by The Adams Bindery in New York [ca.1897-1900], one of the great bookbinderies of early 20th century America. First page lightly foxed. SIGNED by Warner on the final page. Near fine. ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT ESSAY BY CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER, SAMUEL CLEMENS' FRIEND & COLLABORATOR. Autograph manuscript, 26 leaves, of the first two parts of Warner's "Editor's Study" essay published in volume 95, October, 1897 [pp. 798-800], of Harper's Bazaar (part III, a single paragraph review of George du Maurier's The Martian, is not included). On their editorial staff since 1884, this is likely the manuscript Warner submitted to Harper's—though there are minor authorial corrections throughout, otherwise the text appears identical to the published version. Warner penned the "Editors Drawer" from 1884-1892, then took on the aforementioned "Editor's Study". / Part I is both a negative review of Edward Bellamy's Utopian novel Equality, (1897), and a rebuttal of Bellamy's socialist ideas. "Equality is a mischievous book, because it tends to divert the attention from the serious and awful social and political problems we have to solve, and which we should go at like men and Christians, in to the dreams, the impossible fantasies, of feather-headed socialism." / Part II is an extended and somewhat prescient critique of contemporary children's literature, very similar to Harold Bloom's more recent takedown of the Harry Potter series. In it Warner makes the case that children's authors generally underestimate their readership, and that the best children's books are those that appeal to adults as well (e.g., Twain, Kipling, the Brothers Grimm). His biggest gripe with popular children's literature is that "[t]he books are well enough morally, and written often in a sprightly manner, but they have not the least inspiration in them, and cultivate neither the imagination nor the reasoning faculty. The cultivation of the imagination is the great thing for children, for this enables them to see life not in its flatness, but in its roundness." This sort of eloquence was typical of Warner's writing, and is present throughout the work. / Charles Dudley Warner is best remembered as Mark Twain's close friend, and only co-author. He and Twain collaborated to write The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, (1873), supposedly after being challenged by their wives to write a better novel than they were used to reading. While never as famous as Twain, Warner was quite well known in his own time. He was prolific as both a writer and editor, writing numerous books and articles (mostly based on his own experiences and opinions), and was the first president of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. / For a complete print version of the "Editor's Study" columns, see James W. Simpson's Editor's Study by William Dean Howells (Troy, N. Y.: Whitston Press, 1983).
(Inventory #: LV2318)
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