Sunday, June 28, 2009
RW Stallman inscribed book
Well the period of mourning for Stephen Crane is now over, and it's time to get to the business at hand. Just so happens we at Crane Crusaders central division recently acquired a very interesting Crane item. It's a copy of the Crane Omnibus inscribed by RW Stallman! Here is the seller's description:
STEPHEN CRANE: AN OMNIBUS. New York: Knopf, 1961. Fifth printing of the first collected edition. Edited, with an Introduction and notes, by Robert Wooster Stallman. Presentation copy inscribed by Stallman "For President and Mrs. Homer Babbidge" and dated Christmas 1963. Homer Babbidge was president of the University of Connecticut from 1962-1972, and the university's library now bears his name. Stallman has also added a notation beneath his inscription indicating the pages that reference 19th century Connecticut author John William de Forest (1826-1906). In Stallman's introduction to The Red Badge of Courage here, he notes how de Forest's graphic "modern" military realism preceded Cranes by a quarter century. 703 pp. 8o. Red cloth with gilt titles.
This book was exciting for me on a number of levels. It's a Crane book that i didn't have. It's signed by RW Stallman, a very cool literary scholar. It's a gift to Homer Babbidge, namesake of UConn's library. And the inscription references a Connecticut author as a precursor to Crane. Since i was raised in Connecticut this book was just too good to pass up.
When i buy stuff like this i get the guilty feeling that it belongs in a library or a museum! At least until i remember i'm a literary nerd, and no one really cares for this stuff anymore except a hardcore group of us! Well it has found a good home with my collection.
I'm also kinda curious how the book made it from Babbidge's hands to mine. The seller said it comes from the library of George deForest Lord, the author and Yale professor born in 1919. Assuming Mr. Lord is a relative of the deForest author mentioned by Stallman, maybe we can assume that Babbidge sent it along to him? Jeez, talk about re-gifting!
This book didn't cost very much, or i wouldn't have been able to afford it. This is a one-of-a-kind item, and i'd bet that Stallman signed books are pretty hard to find. As for authenticity, i think we're pretty safe....i mean come on people, who would bother to forge something like this?!
Anyway i'm glad to welcome this book into my Crane collection. If you're excited as i am about this, leave a comment below...