New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1929. First Edition. Wrappers. Raw proof of the 1st edition. Printed on proofing paper (7 7/8” X 6 1/2”) on 1 side of the page (rectos) only, and hand bound by the publisher (HB) in brown paper wrappers tied with snips of shoelace (all original). Small control numbers “8476” neatly inked on spine and fly-title, else very good (unrepaired). Need we say primary? Need we say unique? Ok. Literally so for both. Cloth case. Very good. Item #925
A one–off, preceding every other surviving setting in type, and a real movie book, produced with haste, in house, for Jesse Lasky (Famous Players) who was anxious to secure the film rights. On the eve of the depression, and past his prime, Lasky wavered, and then declined, keeping this copy as a souvenir of the opportunity. Dodsworth was ultimately purchased by Sam Goldwyn after he saw the 1934 play scripted by Sidney Howard with Howard’s understated realism. M. G. M. prized it highly, so they gave it back to Howard for a screenplay, and the screenplay, in turn, to a just emerging William Wyler, with his notorious multiple retakes, directing Walter Huston as the world weary Sam Dodsworth, surrounded by supporting performances from Ruth Chatterton, Mary Astor, David Niven, Paul Lukas and Maria Ouspanskaya. The seriously adult film was released 2 years later to lasting acclaim, and Wyler, Huston, Ouspanskaya, and the picture itself, were all nominated for Oscars. Our humble book is the precursor of it all, a drab and plain object, but unique, and with great charm, and authenticity, preceding (and not to be confused with, or compared to) any other prepublication issue, the only recorded ones being those 500 (900?) copies of the regular book hardbound in orange cloth as an advance issue, which is still a common item, as are the 49,500 copies of the 1st edition in dark blue cloth and dustjacket.