[Item #6346] Tropic of Capricorn. Henry Miller.
Tropic of Capricorn
Tropic of Capricorn

Tropic of Capricorn

Paris, France: Obelisk Press, 1945. Third Edition. Hardcover. This semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published by Obelisk Press in Paris in 1939, serves as a prequel to his 1934 Tropic of Cancer. His wife of 10 years June is the “her” referred to in the dedication, and he designated it “the June book” early on in the writing process. Their marriage ended between the writing and the publication, and biographer Robert Ferguson described it as preserving as much as possible of a disappearing past. Both Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn were banned in the United States until the 1961 Justice Department obscenity trial that freed Miller’s writing from censorship under the first amendment. The novel had been smuggled in, of course, to some extent, and the controversy only boosted interest. This edition was printed in France, and it only appeared in softcover form. Sometime in the past seventy years, this copy was upcycled into a hardcover. Despite the disguise it has donned, we have determined this copy to be a third edition according to Shifreen & Jackson (A21d, pg 82-3). It was the second Obelisk edition and the first post-war edition, “printed from plates of the First Printing of February 1939, but used cheap paper” (pg. 83). The pagination is accurate, it includes the colophon noted by S&J, and it is the correct size. The only discrepancy is that the title page is supposed to be unnumbered and on the seventh leaf, and it is the third leaf here with a page number “1” in the bottom right corner. If you consider this page seven, though, its pagination matches perfectly. There is no information in S&J relating to those first six pages even though blank pages are usually specified. It just starts on page seven. It seems reasonable to presume the previous owner or the binder misplaced some endpapers in the process, but where that “1” on the title page came from remains a mystery. The edition is described as having been bound in red wrappers, so whoever rebound this copy stayed somewhat true to its original form. The title is stamped onto a small piece of brown leather (“Miller / Tropic / of / Capricorn”) that is affixed to the spine, and no other labeling is present. No dust jacket is included since it was originally a softcover. A truly unique edition of Henry Miller’s cult favorite since this edition was never officially published in hardcover. Rebound Hardcover without dust jacket, as issued: Third Edition, Second Obelisk Edition, First Post-War Edition. Book is in relatively fine condition with mild-to-moderate bumping to the edges and corners of front, back covers & spine; the fabric is fraying slightly at the edges of the spine, and there is a slight curvature to the front cover; pages are moderately yellowed from age throughout; the bottom right corners of the first 45 pages are chipped very mildly. Fine. [Item #6346]

Price: $100.00

See all items in Fiction
See all items by