Quantity: 1 available
Condition: Fair; somewhat shaken, with substantial chipping on the spine, moderate edgewear.
Charles Erskine Scott Wood [Emma Goldman, Basil Rathbone, Sara B. Field]
Self-published, 1918/ 112 pp. Original Printed Wrappers. 16mo.
Presentation copy to actor Basil Rathbone, with lengthy inscription dated 1934. Possibly with Rathbone's signature on the cover.
A very unusual item loosely associating actor Basil Rathbone with anarchist Goldman.
Although little known today, Charles Erskine Scott Wood [C.E.S. Wood (1852 –1944)] was a successful author, civil liberties advocate, artist, soldier, and attorney. He served as a lieutenant with the 21st Infantry Regiment, fought in the Nez Perce War in 1877, and was present at the surrender of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. It was Wood who transcribed, and perhaps embellished, Chief Joseph's famous speech, which ended with: "My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." The two men became close friends.
Following his military service Wood became a prominent attorney in Portland, Oregon, where he befriended, and often defended, labor unions and "radicals" such as birth control activist Margaret Sanger, Eugene Debs, and Emma Goldman. He began to write, and in 1915, published The Poet in the Desert, a long poem set in the southeastern Oregon desert and summoning the spirit of the natural world—truth—in judgment of the ills of civilization—poverty, prostitution, and economic injustice. Wood wrote three distinct versions of the poem—in 1915, this second version in 1918, and a later version in 1929. He also wrote articles for radical journals such as Liberty and The Masses
From 1925 until his death in 1944, Wood lived with his second wife, Sara Bard Field, in Los Gato, CA where he welcomed associates and celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Steinbeck, Robinson Jeffers and apparently Basil Rathbone.
From the lengthy inscription:
"…I am asking my wife Sara B…. Field to join me in an inscription to Basil Rathbone in this second edition of 'The Poet in the Desert.' Commonly called 'The Emma Goldman Edition" …
because it was printed at Emma Goldman's request for a cheap 'twenty five cent book-let' which she could sell at her revolutionary meetings – especially among the proletariat of the "East-Side' of New York City.
"But in that insanity called 'the War to End War' when the United States was so eager to promote freedom and Democracy abroad that it killed Freedom and Democracy at home – Emma Goldman was deported to Russia as an Anarchist before the booklet was off the Press.
'Let Freedom sing'
"S/ Charles Erskine Scott Wood
The Stanford University Hospital San Francisco, January 209, 1934.
And since [with too much generosity] he bids me do so I sign myself yours in friendship /s Sara 'Bard Field.
Sara Bard Field (1882 –1974) was an American poet, suffragist, free love advocate, and Christian socialist. She worked on successful campaigns for women's suffrage in Oregon and Nevada. Working with Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, Field drove a petition containing 500,000 signatures asking for suffrage from California to Washington, D.C. to present to President Wilson.
Condition: Fair; somewhat shaken, with substantial chipping on the spine, moderate edgewear. But you are buying this for the inscription and association. It is unclear whether Basil Rathbone's inked signature on the cover is in his hand, or is part of Wood's presentation.
Title: The Poet in the Desert / A New Version (The [Emma] Goldman Edition)
Location Published: Self-published: 1918
Book Condition: Fair; somewhat shaken, with substantial chipping on the spine, moderate edgewear.
Inscription: Presentation copy to actor Basil Rathbone
Categories: Poetry, Nature and Environment, Autographs and Manuscript
Seller ID: k210408c
Keywords: autograph, film, history, poems, poetry, politics, social change, social movements, sociology