“Live while you live, then die and be done with": Death Be Not Proud; Inscribed by John Gunther
Death Be Not Proud.
Item Number: 42051
New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1949.
First edition, later printing of this deeply moving book, a father’s memoir of a brave, intelligent, and spirited boy. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “Best regards and thanks to Dr. Simon Beisler. John Gunther. NY. June, 1952.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Rare and desirable signed and inscribed example of this classic work.
Death Be Not Proud takes place in part in contemporary New York City, in the Neurological Institute, and at the Deerfield Academy where Johnny was a student, and at his mother's home in Connecticut. The Neurological institute rises tall above the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. Johnny Gunther, a cancer patient, stays in this hospital, on and off, during the last three years of his life. He also stays at the Gerson facility for a time. The family moves him to his mother's home in Connecticut when he is able, he visits his school briefly, to graduate with his class, then dies two weeks later. It took its name from Holy Sonnet X by John Donne. The story was portrayed in a 1975 TV movie starring Robby Benson as Johnny Gunther and Arthur Hill as John Gunther.