"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Copy of Elizabeth Bishop’s North & South for sale

Elizabeth Bishop was in Nova Scotia when North & South, her first book, was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in August 1946. Her publisher sent her a copy while she was there. During this trip she visited her Aunt Grace Bulmer Bowers in Great Village, so her family immediately saw this début. Bishop was called back unexpectedly to the US (the famous bus trip with the moose encounter) and it was likely from there that she sent copies of N&S to her aunt and her cousin, Phyllis Sutherland. The latter copy is in Acadia University Archives (Bulmer-Bowers-Hutchinson-Sutherland family fonds). The copy Bishop gave to Grace is owned by Grace’s youngest son Rod Bowers, of Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Mr. Bowers has decided to sell this copy.

According to various online rare bookseller sources, only 1,000 copies of this book were printed. It was never re-issued in a second edition, but was incorporated into Poems: North & South—A Cold Spring, which was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1955 and won Bishop the Pulitzer Prize in 1956. Thus, stand-alone copies of North & South are rare. And signed/inscribed copies rarer.

This copy of North & South does not have its dust jacket (the copy at Acadia University has a jacket, but it is torn and fragile). Like the Acadia copy, this copy is both signed (on the title page) and inscribed, “For Aunt Grace, with love, from Elizabeth” (on the front endpaper — this page has rust spots from a paperclip). Except for the missing jacket, this hardcover first edition is in good shape with the binding intact, with slight wear at the top and bottom of the binding. There are a few small stains on several its pages. Otherwise, minimal discolouration.

Mr. Bowers is asking $7,000.00 USD for this copy. Mr. Bowers can be contacted at: rodbowers@rogers.com.

Below are images of this copy of North & South.
(Front cover)

(Signed title page)

(Inscription on endpaper)


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