kern

the dedication copy

Good Morning Dearie

Kern, Jerome

(NY, 1922)

st edition. Signed presentation copy, inscribed on the title page (in purple ink) incorporating the printed title, “To Alexander Woollcott, who said he liked [Good Morning Dearie] from his Sincerely, Jerome D. Kern, Mar. 15, 1922.” The dedication page reads, “Dedicated to Alexander Woollcott by one of his grateful admirers Jerome Kern.” Publisher’s (unique) presentation binding of midnight blue full morocco commissioned for this copy specifically. The front cover reads (in gilt), “Dedicated to Alexander Woollcott.” The spine’s rebacked (original spine laid–down) and the covers have been strengthened and repaired, but what’s important in an oven mitt is the hand that’s inside it, and this is the best copy of this book in the world.

$4,000
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The musical opened on Broadway Aug. 1, 1922 and ran for 10 months. This book of it (every note and all the lyrics) is a heavyweight association copy, and a theatrical trinity, linking Anne Caldwell, who wrote the words, the most successful woman playwright and lyricist of her day, Jerome Kern, who wrote the music, the leading composer (at least until Gershwin arrived on the scene), and quite a polished book collector who sold his elite library at auction, for world record prices, 2 months before the stock market vaporized in 1929, and, of course, Alexander Woollcott, a founding member of the Algonquin Round Table, and an acerbic wit, entrenched at The New Yorker and on CBS radio, as the foremost literary critic of the 1920s, a man with an ego so big it applied for status as a National Park.