Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chard Powers Smith: Prelude to Man

I spotted this over-sized treasure lying flat in its dusty case
on a high shelf at Powell’s Books.
A stool was needed for my son to bring it down.

It was published in 1936 by Peter Pauper Press
and dedicated to Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Much to my surprise, there are uncut pages scattered throughout.
Seventy-five years, and the book has yet to be read.

It was even signed by the poet.

“This edition of Prelude to Man, set in Janson type,
and printed on specially-made paper,
consists of three hundred seventy-five copies for sale,
of which this is number 104.”

Prelude to Man

Decorations by Valenti Angelo

Peter Pauper Press


[click on images to enlarge]


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful book to find, William. It is a lovely large book. I love when I find books that are numbered as to how many were printed, and I have one of the lower numbers!
I have a feeling that this book will finally be read :)

William Michaelian said...

No doubt about it. But first I’ll have to perform delicate surgery on those uncut pages. I have a sharp blade reserved especially for that purpose. And I didn’t realize until we’d brought it home that it was a numbered edition. That information is in the back, and it was difficult to page through the book in the store. What a beautiful surprise. Thanks, Jan!

Pepper Lewis said...

Hi, I just came across your posts. I have an copy of this bok too. I have had it for a long time and can't even remember how I came across it. I have number 253 of 375, and mine is dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Richards. the Richards' donated the book to the Gardiner Public Library in Gardiner, Maine. In May of 1953 the book was withdrawn from the library. Eventually it found its way to me, where it rests comfortably on a beautiful shelf with other "companions".

William Michaelian said...

Hi, Pepper, that’s great to hear. Between us, now, there are two copies of that beautiful printing accounted for.... Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This is my great-grandfather's book. I am glad that someone is reading and appreciating his work. Thank you.

William Michaelian said...

And I thank you for writing and saying so.

veehippo said...

Hello. Are you still blogging on this site? I have a question about your great grandfather's book: Yankies and God.