“I wish I could tell you about the South Pacific. The way it actually was. The endless ocean": James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific; Inscribed by Him

  • Tales of the South Pacific.

Tales of the South Pacific.

Item Number: 92520

New York: The Macmillan Company, 1947.

Early printing of Michener’s first book. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Mrs. Darwin Luntz, James A. Michener Canton, Ohil March 18, 1950.” Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.

“In 1940 Michener began a nine-year association, interrupted by World War II, with the Macmillan publishing firm as a social-science editor. In October 1942 Michener enlisted in the U.S. Navy reserve, was commissioned the following February, served for a year at desk assignments in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, and in April 1944 was sent to the Pacific theater of operations. He was partly an aviator inspector but mostly a publications officer. His visits to some 50 islands inspired his Tales of the South Pacific (1947). Originally scheduled for publication in 1946, the book did not actually see print until the next year, when Macmillan issued it with a new, tipped-in title page dated 1947, as here. Although the book won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, it remained little known until South Pacific, the 1949 musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, made him famous and rich. Then he began to write full time” (ANB). Contemporary name to the inside panel, near fine in a very good price-clipped dust jacket.