Stephen Crane … The American Men of Letters Series.

[New York]: William Sloane Associates, (1950).

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

First edition. Frontispiece portrait of Crane from an 1898 photo. xv, [iii], 347, [1] pp. 8vo. Inscribed. Publisher's maroon cloth stamped in gold. Very good, with some offsetting from dust-jacket flaps and rear hinge starting, in a lightly chipped and creased unclipped dust-jacket, spine panel faded. Stefanik A6.1.a.

Item #310092

First edition, presentation copy, inscribed just after publication on the front free endpaper, "To Mr. & Mrs. Smillie, with very many thanks for a kindness and hospitality & the return of a shabby but fairly warm topcoat. Best, John Berryman. 21 Nov 1950." With postscript, "I think you will find the chronology of your letters more or less right — they are much earlier than Mrs. Smillie Senior thought."
The Smillies were related to Lily Brandon Munroe, an early love interest of Crane's, whom he met in the summer of 1892, around the time of his writing Maggie: "This summer the boy had fallen in love again. She was a young matron, Lily Brandon Munroe … " (p. 45). Crane's letters to "L.B.," as he called her, are some of his most ardent and impassioned expressions of love, and counter the common picture of Crane as generally aloof and ambivalent towards women. The Smillies evidently allowed Berryman access to the letters in their possession — which Berryman quotes from in his work — and he acknowledged their assistance in the final paragraph of his Preface (p. xv).