"DASHED HOPES AND GOOD INTENTIONS. GOOD, BETTER, BEST, BESTED": FIRST EDITION OF WHOS AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF, INSCRIBED BY EDWARD ALBEE
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Item Number: 89031
New York: Atheneum, 1962.
First edition of the author’s most well-known work. Octavo, original black cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by Edward Albee on the half-title page in the year of publication to his accountant, “For Bernard Reis – at the beginning of what I hope will be a long friendship – Edward Albee December, 1962.” Accountant and art collector Bernard J. Reis is best known for his part in the 1971 Rothko scandal in which American abstract painter Mark Rothko’s daughter Kate sued the three executors of her father’s estate. The executor’s were ultimately found guilty of performing a number of fraudulent practices that led Rothko to vastly underestimate the value of his works. Reis also mismanaged the finances of Edward Albee while serving as his accountant throughout the 1960s and 70s, causing Albee to acquire enormous debt and forcing him to sell many pieces from his important collection of modern art. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing to the spine and a few small closed tears. A unique association.
Edward Albees "masterpiece his account of a couples long-nights journey into dawn is also-deeply and truly-a love story" (New York Times). Albee described his first three-act play as the depiction of the desire to "try to claw our way into compassion" (Hart 9). The Village Voice calls Albee's play "[a]n irreplaceable experiencea crucial event in the birth of contemporary American theater!" Whos Afraid of Virginia Woolf? went on to win the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play. Basis for the 1966 film adaptation directed by Mike Nichols that starred Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.