San Francisco: The Book Club of California [printed by John Henry Nash], 1922. Limited First Edition. Hardcover. Number 135 of 400 copies, octavo size,  pp. Near fine. Item #CNBR067
The Letters of American author and journalist Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) were here published for the first time, ranging from 1892-1913. Bierce's friend and contemporary, George Sterling (1869-1926), wrote a heartfelt memoir for this edition. Per the Nash Bibliography, "the majority of these letters are addressed to Blanche Partington, George Sterling and Bierce's niece, Lora Bierce, and reveal 'the master of invective' in many phases. His caustic, biting comments on men and affairs written, as most letters are, with no thought that they would be presented publicly, are in the same vein of distilled venom that has won for him the unpleasant description of 'bitter Bierce'. Of course, there are many softer feelings apparent throughout the letters, and his critical analysis of Sterling's verse shows that the younger poet owed much to his judgment; a debt that George Sterling was always the first to acknowledge" (O'Day p. 25).
This is the seventeenth publication of The Book Club of California, and the most important of their first decade, being a very ambitious project (aside from their first book, Cowan's Bibliography). The book was so well received the Houghton Mifflin offered to print a trade edition and pay the Club royalties, but the high cost of resetting the type squashed the project before it began.
___DESCRIPTION: Original quarter black cloth, purple and tan marbled paper covered boards, black label printed in gold on back, fore- and bottom edges uncut, gravure frontis portrait of Bierce, many leaves unopened, printed by John Henry Nash per the colophon; type is Caslon linotype, Alexandra laid paper (machine made), octavo size (9" by 6.25"), pagination: [i-xxxii] xxxiii-xlvii [xlviii] [1-2] 3-204 [1 colophon], limited first edition, this number 135 of 400 copies (plus 15 not for sale).
___CONDITION: A near fine copy overall, with clean boards, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; slight rubbing to the edges of the boards (most prominent at corners), top back corner gently bumped, and two small clippings pasted onto the verso of the rear free endpaper by a prior owner; overall near fine, a lovely copy.
___CITATION: BCC 100, no. 17; O'Day, pp. 24-25.
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