The Prodigal Parents

The Prodigal Parents

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Author: Lewis, Sinclair [Harry] (1885-1951)

Year: 1938

Publisher: Doubleday, Doran & Co

Place: New York


[i-viii]+[1]-301+[302-04] pages. Octavo (8 1/8" x 5 5/8") issued in red cloth with impressed "SL" and laurel branch on cover, gilt title and author's name on spine. Dust jacket is a combination of black, gilt and the intertwined green laurel branch and initials "SL" with white lettering. 50,000 of the first edition in dust jacket printed. First 10,000 copies have title page and half title page one-quarter inch shorter at bottom than surrounding leaves, corrected in later printing run. (Pastore: 251) 1st editon, first state with title and half title page 1/4" shorter.

Lewis had commented to several parties privately that Doubleday, Doran was putting too much focus on the Nobel Prize and too little on him. Word reached the publisher and the result was the addition of Lewis's intials to the olive branch motif on the cover of this and subsequent novels. The novel is an attack on the Communist left as a response the way It Can't Happen Here was an attack on the totalitarian right; it deals with the "generation gap" and was soundly criticized by Lewis's former socialistic associates, Upton Sinclair, in particular, who viewed the book as an apologia for middle-class values and mores, those same values and mores which Lewis had so well attacked. The book was written quickly and obsessively during the stage run of It Can't Happen Here and it sold fairly well. The jacket design, an overly serious, almost funereal combination of black, gilt and the intertwined laurel branch and initials hardly befits the light tone of the contents and is a good example of the detachemnt of the publisher from the published. (Pastore: 247)


Corners and spine ends bumped. Dust jacket corners and spine ends chipped, hinges and fold over edges rubbed and chipped, edge wear with some closed tears. A very good copy in about a very good dust jacket.

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