Owen Wister collection
Place Published: various
Date Published: 1922 to 1938
Binding: No binding & hard cover
Owen Wister dubbed the father of Western fiction, was a prolific novelist, short story writer, biographer, and historian. His most famous work is The Virginian (1902), a novel set in the Wyoming Territory during the 1880s. In 1898, Wister married Mary Channing, his cousin. They had six children, including Marina Wister (1882-1967).
The collection has 15 items dating from 1922 to 1938, specifically 5 letters written by Wister, 2 signed cards, and 2 signed books. In addition there is a signed and annotated copy of his daughter’s poetry book with news clippings, holograph poems and 5 letters addressed to her.
• 2 ALS to Mark Sullivan (American journalist and political columnist), 7 October 1922 and 15 November 1932, complimenting Sullivan on his article on Lord Northcliffe (“parallel to John Sargeant’s best. Light & shade, values, likeness, interpretation, justice”) whom Wister met in London in 1919 and in Paris in 1921; tells Sullivan that it’s unlikely for there to be errors in what Sullivan has written “of that episode”.
• 2 ALS to Mr. Chandler, 4 January 1935 and 16 August 1936, re eighth day of seclusion, “missed a string of duties and pleasures”, “doctor promised him a modicum of freedom”, passing on his letter to the Library Committee, found Strain’s name in his visitor’s book, can supply it when proofs come, [Max] Parrish has his ms.
• TLS to Paul J. Howland, 10 April 1937, re Neighbors Henceforth (1922).
2 Books (signed & inscribed):
• Members of the Family. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1911. With illustrations by H.T. Dunn. First edition in yellow cloth boards decorated in red, black and gilt and enclosed in the uncommonly-found dust jacket (worn, torn, chipped tape-repaired, but intact). Front free endpaper bears a personal inscription signed by Wister, dated 19 May 1913.
• Watch Your Thirst: A Dry Opera in Three Acts. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1923. George Howe (illustrator). Blue buckram, top edge gilt. Signed by Wister. With a preface by Samuel Johnson. “Of this limited and autographed edition… only 1000 copies have been printed, of which this is Number 889”. Small closed tears and chipping to the dust jacket.
• 1 Signed calling card, “Dear Sir: I am glad to do as you request. Yours truly Owen Wister”.
• 1 Signed card dated Nov. 10 1930, featuring original mixed media illustration related to The Virginian by notable collector H.M. Brehm, Appleton, Wisconsin.
Marina Wister (daughter, a poet who married Andrew Dasburg, an American modernist painter and exponent of cubism).
1 inscribed Book with 5 letters laid-in):
• Fantasy and Fugue. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937. Grey flecked paper boards, quarter bound in grey cloth, dull spine. A signed and heavily annotated copy of her own poetry book with news clipping reviews pasted on the front free endpapers, references to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 3 holograph poems at the back (“Curse”, “Nineteen”, and “The Ravished Eyrie”), 5 Letters laid-in:
• 4 ALS and 1 TLS addressed to her (André Chevrillon (French writer), 23 December 1935, 7 pp.; Carla Atkinson, 8 February 1938, 1 p.; Dr. A.A. Brill (American psychiatrist), 28 December 1937, 1 p.; Maud Noble (daughter of a prominent Philadelphia family and a retired music teacher who first visited Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in 1915 looking for adventure), 3 January 1928, 3 pp.; and Phoebe Gilkyson, 30 December ?, 2 pp.).
Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Good. Item #8742