A Medley of Moods. Author’s Autograph Manuscript, signed on the first leaf: “By Sydney Porter”. O. Henry, William Sydney Porter.
A Medley of Moods. Author’s Autograph Manuscript, signed on the first leaf: “By Sydney Porter”
A Medley of Moods. Author’s Autograph Manuscript, signed on the first leaf: “By Sydney Porter”

A Medley of Moods. Author’s Autograph Manuscript, signed on the first leaf: “By Sydney Porter”.

[N.d., ca. 1898-1901].

Published in Ainslee's Magazine for December 1905; collected in Whirligigs (1910) under the title “Blind Man's Holiday”. 52 pp., ink on paper, with a very few editorial corrections marked in blue. 1 vols. 8vo. Small loss to the top corner of the first leaf, last three leaves torn in half and with old tape repairs. Fine. Burgundy morocco backed drop box, blue cloth chemise. Bookplate of Alain de Suzannet. Provenance: George C. Smith, Jr., his sale Anderson Galleries, 23/24 Nov. 1937, lot 228; Alain de Suzannet (1882-1950). Item #315113

A superb and substantial autograph manuscript of an early short story by pharmacist, newspaperman, and author O. Henry (William Sydney Porter, 1862–1910), written while he was in prison.

The story, set in New Orleans, is titled and signed "A Medley of Moods, By Sydney Porter” and begins: “Alas! for the man and for the artist with the shifting point of perspective. Life shall be a confusion of ways to the one; the landscape shall rise up and confound the other. Take the case of Lorison. At one time he appeared to himself to be the feeblest of fools; at another he conceived that he followed ideals so fine that the world was not yet ready to accept them.”

Porter spent a few weeks in New Orleans when he fled to Honduras in the face of charges of embezzlement of funds from the First National Bank in Austin, Texas. The main character, Lorison, is an outcast who, though proven innocent of embezzling, is convinced that “from the moment I staked the first dollar of the firm’s money I was a criminal”. He meets Norah Greenway, a girl “of an untarnished, pale prettiness doomed to please” and with “a certain bright melancholy”.

George C. Smith, Jr., had 5 notable O. Henry manuscripts and an autograph notebook (this was the longest of the manuscripts). Nothing of this nature appeared at auction subsequently until the Joyce sale at Hanzel Galleries in 1973, when several bound manuscripts were sold.

O. Henry manuscript material is RARE.

Price: $30,000.00 Free International Delivery