New York: Scribners, 1934. First Edition. Very Good. Item #4173
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934-1935. Four Volumes. First Editions with "A" and Scribner's seal on each copyright page. SIGNED by the author on front free endpaper of first volume, "Inscribed for / Mr. and Mrs Granville Gray Valentine / with admiration for both / Douglas Southall Freeman." Additional 1938 letter from Freeman to Mrs. Valentine on Richmond News Leader stationary and envelope laid in at front.
Red cloth-covered boards with gilt lettering. Frontis, illustrations, and maps throughout each volume, all present. Spines soiled and smudged with nudging and tugging to spine ends, including a few tiny tears and a dime-sized chip to tail of third volume with a few small abrasions and punctures to cloth above. Boards are sturdy with bright fronts and backs. Shallow dampstain to one plate in first volume, not involving image or adjacent pages. Clean 1.5" tear at fore-edge on p 391-2 just barely encroaching on text, but with no loss. Bindings are sound and pages unmarked. Bookseller ticket from Edgar Allan Poe Memorial Bookshop on back pastedowns of first two volumes.
Freeman's exhaustive biography won him the Pulitzer Prize in 1935. Nevins describes it as "A classic example of the biographical form; exhaustively researched, vividly written, balanced, judicious and definitive in its portrayal of the Confederacy's greatest soldier" [Nevins II-57].
Dedicatee Granville Gray Valentine Sr. was heir to the Valentine Meat Juice fortune, continuing to run the company after his father's death until his own in 1943. With his father's bequest of his large collection of art and archaeological artifacts, the family house, and a $50,000 endowment, he helped found and expand The Valentine, the first private museum in Richmond, Virginia. In the letter to Mrs. Elsie Calvin Bragg Valentine, Granville's wife, Freeman apologizes for misunderstanding a prior request for articles on the Constitutional Convention, explaining he had just recovered from a shock.