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Auction archive: Lot number 103

GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs . New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-86.

Auction 02.11.2006
2 Nov 2006
Estimate
US$15,000 - US$20,000
Price realised:
US$38,400
Auction archive: Lot number 103

GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs . New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-86.

Auction 02.11.2006
2 Nov 2006
Estimate
US$15,000 - US$20,000
Price realised:
US$38,400
Beschreibung:

GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs . New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-86. 2 vols., large 8 o. Steel-engraved portrait frontispieces, folding collotype(?) facsimile of note from Grant to Lee at Appomattox (printed on yellow paper), engravings and etchings, numerous detailed campaign and battle maps. A SPECIAL DELUXE PRESENTATION BINDING: highly polished tree calf, covers with thin scrolling gilt borders, gilt spine with red and black gilt-lettered labels, all edges gilt, rebacked in calf, preserving original spines, corners repaired, new endleaves. Dark blue quarter morocco gilt slipcase. A SUPERB ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY GRANT'S WIDOW TO CLEMENS, WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ITS PUBLICATION FIRST EDITION of this enduring American classic, one of the most remarkable military narratives ever published, an indispensable first-hand account of America's bloodiest conflict and one of the best-selling books of the entire century. SAMUEL L. CLEMEN'S COPY, PRESENTED TO HIM BY THE AUTHOR'S WIDOW: preliminary blank in vol.1 with ink presentation inscription: "For Mr. S.L. Clemens with the compliments of Julia Dent Grant New York December 25, 1885." (Grant died on 23 July 1885, before publication of the volume.) WITH AN ADDITIONAL INK INSCRIPTION BY SAMUEL CLEMENS on flyleaf of vo1. 2: "This belongs to the set given me by Mrs. U.S. Grant S.L.C. May 14, 1886." As early as 1881 Clemens had suggested to Grant that an account of his wartime experiences would interest many readers, but Grant, caught up in work to establish a brokerage partnership, brushed the idea aside. Several years later, in financial straits, he published accounts of several key battles in the Century Magazine , whose editors opened negotiations for publication of a full-length memoir. Clemens heard of the project, and, convinced the book would be a undoubted bestseller, arranged for the book to be published by Charles L. Webster, his nephew's firm, in which Clemens had invested, and with whom he had just published Huckleberry Finn . Clemens--no stranger to the stinginess of publishers in the matter of royalties--offered Grant exceptionally generous terms: an advance of $10,000 and 75 of the profits. A contract was signed in February 1885, and the dying general, in spite of his advancing cancer and severe pain, continued work on the narrative at a feverish pace, completing it just before his death in July 1885. The first volume issued from Webster's press in December, in time for the widow Julia Dent Grant to inscribe this copy as a Christmas gift to Clemens, who had played such a key role in the genesis of the project. In time, sales of the book exceeded 300,000 copies and the royalty payments to Mrs. Grant were sufficient to enable her to pay off all her husband's residual debts and live in relative comfort (see notes to the preceding lot).

Auction archive: Lot number 103
Auction:
Datum:
2 Nov 2006
Auction house:
Christie's
2 November 2006, New York, Rockefeller Center
Beschreibung:

GRANT, Ulysses S. Personal Memoirs . New York: Charles L. Webster, 1885-86. 2 vols., large 8 o. Steel-engraved portrait frontispieces, folding collotype(?) facsimile of note from Grant to Lee at Appomattox (printed on yellow paper), engravings and etchings, numerous detailed campaign and battle maps. A SPECIAL DELUXE PRESENTATION BINDING: highly polished tree calf, covers with thin scrolling gilt borders, gilt spine with red and black gilt-lettered labels, all edges gilt, rebacked in calf, preserving original spines, corners repaired, new endleaves. Dark blue quarter morocco gilt slipcase. A SUPERB ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY GRANT'S WIDOW TO CLEMENS, WHO WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ITS PUBLICATION FIRST EDITION of this enduring American classic, one of the most remarkable military narratives ever published, an indispensable first-hand account of America's bloodiest conflict and one of the best-selling books of the entire century. SAMUEL L. CLEMEN'S COPY, PRESENTED TO HIM BY THE AUTHOR'S WIDOW: preliminary blank in vol.1 with ink presentation inscription: "For Mr. S.L. Clemens with the compliments of Julia Dent Grant New York December 25, 1885." (Grant died on 23 July 1885, before publication of the volume.) WITH AN ADDITIONAL INK INSCRIPTION BY SAMUEL CLEMENS on flyleaf of vo1. 2: "This belongs to the set given me by Mrs. U.S. Grant S.L.C. May 14, 1886." As early as 1881 Clemens had suggested to Grant that an account of his wartime experiences would interest many readers, but Grant, caught up in work to establish a brokerage partnership, brushed the idea aside. Several years later, in financial straits, he published accounts of several key battles in the Century Magazine , whose editors opened negotiations for publication of a full-length memoir. Clemens heard of the project, and, convinced the book would be a undoubted bestseller, arranged for the book to be published by Charles L. Webster, his nephew's firm, in which Clemens had invested, and with whom he had just published Huckleberry Finn . Clemens--no stranger to the stinginess of publishers in the matter of royalties--offered Grant exceptionally generous terms: an advance of $10,000 and 75 of the profits. A contract was signed in February 1885, and the dying general, in spite of his advancing cancer and severe pain, continued work on the narrative at a feverish pace, completing it just before his death in July 1885. The first volume issued from Webster's press in December, in time for the widow Julia Dent Grant to inscribe this copy as a Christmas gift to Clemens, who had played such a key role in the genesis of the project. In time, sales of the book exceeded 300,000 copies and the royalty payments to Mrs. Grant were sufficient to enable her to pay off all her husband's residual debts and live in relative comfort (see notes to the preceding lot).

Auction archive: Lot number 103
Auction:
Datum:
2 Nov 2006
Auction house:
Christie's
2 November 2006, New York, Rockefeller Center
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