New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949. Hardcover. Small 8vo. Blue cloth with gilt spine lettering, pictorial price-clipped dust jacket. 325pp. Near fine/near fine. Item #44465
A superb, bright, tight and lovely first edition of this "novel of Chicago's wealthy and great from the 1880's to 1918." Choice autograph addition: Tipped opposite the title page, as a frontispiece, is an excellent content Typed Letter Signed from Meeker, 1p, 7¼" X 10½", Chicago, IL, 23 November 1940. Addressed to Arnold F. Gates (1914-93), noted Lincoln and Civil War schoalr. Near fine. On imprinted letterhead, Meeker chats cordially with this admirer, thanking him for birthday greetings ("a very private festival that I have long since ceased celebrating. But so far growing older is not so bad -- I'd not be less than 38 for anything!") and discussing his career: "I'm glad you liked 'Vestal Virgin'. Since 1934 I have published only one book, 'Sacrifice to the Graces', a short novel (in 1937). But I have just finished a long one that I think is very much the best thing I have done. It is to come out some time next year under the auspices of Houghton Mifflin...." Boldly signed in black ink at the close. Meeker (1902-71) was an American journalist and novelist noted for historical topics; his books include "American Beauty" (his first, 1929), "Strange Capers" (1931), "Vestal Virgin" (1934), the bestselling "The Ivory Mischief" (1942), "The Far Away Music" (1945) and others.