“The cotton was open and spilling into the fields; the very air smelled of it": First Edition of William Faulkner's The Hamlet; Signed by Him
Item Number: 5812
New York: Random House, 1940.
First edition. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by William Faulkner on the half title page. Fine in a near fine first issue dust jacket with ads for other books on the back panel (Peterson A22). Dust jacket art by George Salter. From the library of novelist and historian Shelby Foote. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare signed.
The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its decay in the aftermath of war and Reconstruction. It tells of the advent and the rise of the Snopes family in Frenchman's Bend, a small town built on the ruins of a once-stately plantation. Flem Snopes -- wily, energetic, a man of shady origins -- quickly comes to dominate the town and its people with his cunning and guile.