Boston and New York / Cambridge: Houghton Mifflin / The Riverside Press, 1899. First Trade Edition. Pictorial Cloth. First Printing of the author's first book, seven interrelated folk tales set in antebellum North Carolina and told "in Negro dialect" by an old gardener. Crown 8vo (175 x 110mm): ,229,pp. Publisher's finely woven brown pictorial cloth, front cover lettered in gilt, with trio of vignettes stamped in orange, black, and off-white; spine lettered in gilt, title-page vignette. Contemporary calligraphic gift inscription to front fly leaf. An excellent example, securely bound (spine darkened, lettering legible but dulled) and clean throughout (page margins lightly toned). Wright 1017. Powell 91 (One of the first books by a Negro author to receive critical approval."). Blockson (101 Influential Books) 49. First Printings of American Authors III, p. 47. Blockson (Damn Rare), p. 79 (calling The Conjure Woman "rare" and Chesnutt's "first great literary success"). Whiteman, p.14. Near Fine+. Item #BB2187
A collection of short stories as told by Uncle Julius to his white employers, originally published in the Atlantic Monthly, beginning with "The Goophered Grapevine," in 1887, and preceded by a limited edition of 150 copies. In addition to "The Goophered Grapevine," the stories are: Po' Sandy, Mars Jeems's Nightmare, The Conjurer's Revenge, Sis' Becky's Pickaninny, The Gray Wolf's Ha'nt, and Hot-Foot Hannibal, most derived from African American folk tales and hoodoo conjuring traditions. According to Blockson, "The most striking feature of The Conjure Woman is Chesnutt's attempt to challenge the racial integrity of the ante-bellum writers of the plantation South such as Albion W. Touraee, Joel Chandler Harris, Thomas Nelson Page, Thomas Dixon, and other white writers." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).