Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel / Nordisk Forlag, 1942.
First edition. 332 pp. 8vo. "Navigare necesse est..." Signed with Blixen's personal motto. Original blue and white wrappers. Faint spotting to wrappers, faint creasing to spine, tiny tear to rear flap, but an attractive, near fine copy, in a custom cloth box Henriksen 63. Item #307709
Signed on the half-title, with the motto Blixen adopted as a youth: "Karen Blixen.– Navigare necesse est, vivere non necesse." (To sail is necessary, to live is not necessary.) The famous quote is attributed to Pompey, who exhorted his sailors to undertake a journey to bring grain from Africa to Rome during a fierce storm. In her essay "On Mottoes of My Life," Blixen writes that it was "the first real motto of my youth … It came naturally to me to view my enterprise in life in terms of seafaring, for my home stands but a hundred yards from the sea, and through all the summers of our youth my brothers had boats in the fairways between Copenhagen and Elsinore … No compass-needle in the world was as infallible to me as the outstretched arm of Pompey; I steered my course by it with unswerving confidence, and had any wiser person insisted that there was no earthly sense in my motto, I might have answered: 'Nay, but a heavenly sense!' and have added perhaps: 'And a maritime!'" (Daguerreotypes and Other Essays (1984), pp 5-6).
This collection of short stories was originally written and published in Danish during the height of the Second World War, with the English edition appearing the same year, as "Winter's Tales"
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