Title JANUARY GARDEN / BEHIND DARK SPACES / A WIDER ARC. THREE INSCRIBED BOOKS + LETTERS AND ADDITIONAL PAPERS.
Book Condition Good
Edition First Editions.
Publisher New York Harcourt Brace
Inscription Inscribed By Author
Seller ID 30393
A collection of three first edition hard covers in dust jackets, each inscribed by the author, plus additional material. Melville Henry Cane, 1879-1980, was a graduate of Columbia University and partner in the law firm Ernst, Fox & Cane in New York, where he was legal counsel to Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Ayn Rand, William, Saroyan, Thomas Wolfe and others. He was also a poet, producing several volumes of verse, writing "Making a Poem" in 1953 and winning the Robert Frost Medal for lifetime achievement in 1971. The books: 1. January Garden, 1926, 70 pp, 8 1/2" H, black cloth spine with white paper title label/black lettering on spine, black paper covered boards, top edge orange, orange endpapers. Inscribed on title page: "For Tommy Atkins / From his old friend, / Melville Cane 4/1/26". Orange dust jacket with black lettering/decoration. 2. Behind Dark Spaces, 1930, 80 pp, 8 1/2" H, bright blue cloth spine with gilt lettering, yellow paper covered boards, yellow endpapers. Inscribed on dedication page: "To G.C. Atkins, / Send your grade A honey to / Melville Cane / 64 Wright St. / Westport, / Conn." Yellow dust jacket with black lettering/decoration. 3. A Wider Arc: Poems, 1947, 186 pp, 8 5/8" H, black cloth with gilt lettering on spine, white endpapers. Inscribed on title page (Cane has crossed out his printed name): "For Tommy / From Melville, / April '47. This volume includes a prose piece, "Making a Poem". Dust jacket has red spine/front panel with white lettering, white rear panel with red lettering. ALSO: 5 letters/notes on Ernst, Fox & Cane letterhead to G.C. Atkins (George Chew "Tommy" Atkins), a fellow Columbia graduate and lawyer who moved to a farm in Ontario, Canada in 1921. 1. Full sheet, holograph, signed "Melville", dated March 31/26. References the "sporty" proposition of exchanging Cane's first book of verse for some of Tommy's apples, commenting on Tommy's giving up of "this unproductive law activity and grow(ing) something worthwhile." In response to an invitation to visit Ontario, Cane says that he happens "to be the only person in America out of jail who hasn't a car." 2. Half sheet, holograph, signed "Melville", dated April 7/26. References the arrival of the apples and the finding of three with soft spots, but continuing "if you find only three poems with soft spots, it'll be a stand-off." 3. Full sheet, typed, signed "Melville Cane", dated April 20th, 1926. Comments favorably on Tommy's idea of raising turkeys, but "do not expect epics from me in exchange." Mentions he has conveyed Tommy's greetings to Harcourt and Brace (Cane was on their board of directors). 4. Full sheet, holograph, signed "Melville", dated 3/9/33. Comments on the university's (Columbia's), and the general, lack of appreciation for poets and mentioning that he is sending "a couple of specimens (of poetry) of different moods." (see below). 5. Half sheet, holograph, signed "Melville', dated 6/25/51. Mentioning the death of a mutual acquaintance and hoping Tommy will visit. The first two pieces in this group have pencil notations at the bottom, probably by Tommy. WITH: a group of four poems. Three are typed on full sheets of paper, each with one correction in pen and one with a pencil quotation from a poem by John Erskine (a mutual friend). "Melville Cane" is typed at the bottom of each of these sheets, but they are NOT signed. The three poems ("Hymn to Night", "Petition" and "Ancient Organ Grinder") were later published in "A Wider Arc". "Hymn to Night" and "Ancient Organ Grider" were included with Cane's letter to Tommy of 3/9/33. The fourth poem, on a 3 1/4" square scrap of paper, is handwritten in ink, with crossings out and smears and refers to honeybees - it was tucked into "Behind Dark Spaces", at the dedication page, where Cane gives Tommy directions on where to send his honey. WITH: Three items relating to Bernard M.L. Ernst, Cane's long-time friend, fellow Columbia graduate and partner in the law firm of Ernst, Fox & Cane. Ernst was also president of the New York Branch of the Society American Magicians and Vice President of the Magicians' Club of London. 1. "an address / by Melville H. Cane / delivered at the funeral of / Bernard M.L. Ernst / at Earl Hall, Columbia / University, November 30, / 1938" -  pp (not including covers), stapled, 7 3/4" H. 2. Holograph note in envelope from Roberta Ernst to Mr. Atkins, thanking him for his "kind note' and commenting on Ernst's last days. 3. Typed slip of paper (approx. 2 5/8" H x 8 7/16" W) with a quote from "Quicker Than the Eye" by John Mulholland, mentioning Ernst as "One of the best loved men in magic". 1. January Garden has minor insect damage near fore-edge of front free endpaper and light damage at fore-edge of rear pastedown, some pages have not been opened, small brown stain on pages 6 & 7, very light browning towards edges of pages, some minor creases at fore-edge of some pages, small edge tear archivally taped at fore-edge of page leaf 45/46, light browning to edges of text block, minor rubbing on boards, very small bump at bottom corner of rear board. Dust jacket has edge wear with some small chips and tears, heavy fading to spine colour and less on flap-folds, light water stain on spinesome scattered very light insect damage on surfaces. 2. Behind Dark Spaces has insect damage causing tiny holes ans paper loss at fore-edge of front free endpaper and a little on half-title page, very light browning towards edges of pages, a few scattered very small foxing marks, page leaves 12/13 & 14/15 poorly opened causing tears which are now archivally taped, three board corners are bumped with some migration into pages, very light browning/foxing to edges of text block, slight wrinkling at top/bottom of spine. Dust jacket has some small and tiny insect damage holes on front flap, light fading and browning to spine and flap-folds colour, two small dents/tears on front hinge, some edge wear with small tears and very small chips, light soiling. 3. A Wider Arc has minor foxing on front inside hinge, light wrinkling at top/bottom of spine, small bump at bottom corner of boards, minor edge wear, light toning/foxing to edges of text block. Dust jacket has light browning, light edge wear/wrinkling and one small edge tear, slight fading to spine, some creases on spine, scattered foxing on inside surface, very light rubbing and soiling. All dust jackets are now in a mylar sleeve for further protection. Most of the letters and notes have been folded and have some light edge wrinkles/creases and light edge browning, one letter has staple holes, one letter has pin holes and rust mark. The funeral address has some insect damage at the bottom edge of the rear cover.