New York: Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith. Very Good in Very Good dj. 1930. First Edition. Hardcover. [solid book, but with a bit of deterioration to the cloth along both the top and bottom edges, some light spotting to the edges of the text block, and small tape mark on the ffep; jacket is edgeworn and age-toned, with some shallow chipping at top of spine (no loss of text), tiny pull-tear in middle of spine blemishing the "S" in the author's last name]. Uncommon book by this Tennessee-born Modernist novelist/poet/playwright, and the only work for which she employed the "Ernest Souza" pseudonym. Its publishers tried to give it a double-barreled pitch, jacket-blurbing it as an exciting international thriller -- with elements including "a ghastly double murder, a sudden flight from Portugal, shipwreck," the revelation of "a drug ring powerful on both sides of the Atlantic [and] the recovery of a lost Fontinha diamond, the largest diamond ever found in Brazil" -- and yet also "a literary work by a powerful and imaginative writer." Scott is generally thought to have peaked both commercially and artistically with the publication of her Civil War novel "The Wave" the previous year, and the high reputation she enjoyed among the literati during the 1920s and 1930s had already faded considerably by the time of her death in 1963. Although she's appreciated today to a limited degree, if there's a Dawn Powell-like rediscovery/revival awaiting her down the road, it's further away than I can see. But the Evelyn Scott Society -- yes, there is such a thing -- might disagree, and it's worth noting that when that revival arrives there are substantial archival resources to support it: both her own papers and several other related collections are held by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, with additional manuscript material of significance located at the University of Tennessee. [This item is featured in ReadInk's E-Catalog 3.1, which can be perused in full at our website. (Not everything in that catalog is listed on whatever site you're seeing this.)] . (Inventory #: 22134)
Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture (Popular and Unpopular), Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s.
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