Chicago: The Chicago Literary Club, 1974-2001. Hardcover. Both small 4to. First is green cloth spine with paper label and pale green paper over boards; second is green cloth with gilt spine lettering. xiii, 141pp; xii, 129pp. Illustrations. Fine. Item #47082
Lovely, pristine first editions of the centennial and quasquicentennial histories of one of Chicago's oldest literary clubs, founded in 1874. Second volume bears choice autograph addition, bearing a unique frontispiece tipped facing title page: Typed Letter Signed from Elmer Gertz, 1p, 7¼" X 10½", Chicago, IL, 27 January 1953. Addressed to The Civil War Round Table of New York. Very good. On letterhead of "The Civil War Round Table," of which Gertz was at that time president, he thanks this newly-formed group for "Vol. 1 No. 2 (Dec. 1952) of The Round Table" and notes "You are to be congratulated on this very excellent publication. We here hope to emulate it." Boldly signed in blue ink. The Chicago Civil War Round Table was the first such round table in the U.S., founded in 1940, and Gertz was among its first members. Gertz (1902-2000), known as "The Clarence Darrow of Chicago," defended novelist Henry Miller, Lee Harvey Oswald's murderer Jack Ruby, notorious child murderer Nathan Leopold and other high-profile cases. He died shortly before the release of this volume; both volumes list the talks given by each member, and both list the many talks Gertz gave over his forty years as a member. First volume limited to 450 copies, second volume (into which transmittal letter is laid) unspecified.