New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1906. Very Good. First Edition. [8.75x6in]; 119 pp., frontispiece image of old man, 71 photographs, light brown illustrations and flower patterned borders on every page; Red and black paisley patterned cloth covers, black lettering on labels to spine and front, front label of image inset in woodcut black border, cream end papers, top edge gilt and others untrimmed; Shelf wear to all edges and covers, some soiling and rubbing of covers, corners bumped and fraying, 1/2in of spine top missing, signatures showing, bottom spine frayed, spine label chipped and rubbed with some loss of text, front hinge cracked at second signature, prior owner signature on front end paper with pasted label advertisements for other Dunbar books. Item #13487
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an african-american poet, novelist and playwright. He wrote many of his poems in african-american dialect of the south.
"Dunbar became the first african-american poet to earn national distinction and acceptance. The New York Times called him "a true singer of the people – white or black. Frederick Douglass once referred to Dunbar as, "one of the sweetest songsters his race has produced and a man of whom [he hoped] great things." His friend and writer James Weldon Johnson highly praised Dunbar, writing in The Book of American Negro Poetry: "Paul Laurence Dunbar stands out as the first poet from the Negro race in the United States to show a combined mastery over poetic material and poetic technique, to reveal innate literary distinction in what he wrote, and to maintain a high level of performance. He was the first to rise to a height from which he could take a perspective view of his own race. He was the first to see objectively its humor, its superstitions, its short-comings; the first to feel sympathetically its heart-wounds, its yearnings, its aspirations, and to voice them all in a purely literary form."[Wikipedia, references cited].