Twice-signed copy of the new Appleton edition illustrated by A.B. Frost, inscribed by Harris on the front free endpaper, and signed again by him on the title page.
"If any collection evokes the hushed-up paradoxes of African American folklore, it is Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus stories." – Gates & Tatar
Georgia-born white journalist Harris sought to document the cultural history of African Americans in his Uncle Remus project, and with his success "a vibrant storytelling culture for adults began its long migration from campfires and slave cabins into the nursery" (Gates & Tatar). Harris painted the plantation life of enslaved people as idyllic, and his collection has depicted, created, and circulated racist stereotypes of African Americans. As complicated as such a legacy is, the collection also acts as a printed record of supreme importance for African-American oral traditions. Robert Bone argues that "[t]o neglect the Brer Rabbit tales because a white man was the first to write them down is to betray the black man's folk tradition" (quoted in Gates and Tatar). African American authors continue to draw from this tradition to create art true to their own voices, from Charles Chesnutt's forays into mythic storytelling, to Ralph Ellison's ambiguous Ulysses-Brer Rabbit trickster imagery, to Toni Morrison's TAR BABY, to Jerry Pinkney's visual tours de force. In 1895, Appleton issued this "New and Revised" edition, illustrated by A.B. Frost (the first was illustrated by Frederick Church and James Moser). Harris wrote a preface for this edition, dedicated to Frost. Harris inscriptions are not common.
Read more: Gates Jr. & Tatar, THE ANNOTATED AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKTALES; Gyarkye, "From Two Scholars, African-American Folk Tales for the Next Generation," New York Times, 14 December 2017; Blanck, Peter Parley to Penrod p. 56; BAL 7100; Grolier, 100 Influential American Books prior to 1900, #83.
New York: D. Appleton, 1895. 7.5'' x 5.5''. Original red cloth stamped in gold and black. Illustrated by Frost in black and white, many full page. Publisher's ads at rear. xxiv, 265, ,  pages. Inscribed and dated (1906) on front free endpaper by Harris (below a previous gift inscription); signed again by Harris on title page, where he has crossed out his printed name. Some damage to rear cover where cloth is scraped, gilt top dinged in a few spots.
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