First printing of this edition, with Melville's name omitted from the front cover in lieu of Kent's, of what many consider Kent's masterpiece.
"Melville's death in 1891 had passed almost unnoticed. It might be said, without too much exaggeration, that Rockwell Kent brought him back to life." — Constance Martin
A fine balance of philosophy and comedy like DON QUIXOTE but with epic Miltonic undertones, MOBY DICK was not only Melville's most ambitious work to date, but became one of his biggest flops. By his death in 1891, the book was out of print, and would have to wait until the 1920s for a critical resurrection, one solidified in no small part by this edition, beautifully illustrated by Rockwell Kent. Approached in 1926 by R.R. Donnelly to illustrate a classic of American literature for his Lakeside Press, Kent (very much in need of money) gladly accepted the commission, but eschewed more obvious choices in favor of the still relatively unpopular MOBY DICK. It proved to be an astute choice. Kent's art deco-influenced images perfectly captured Melville's tone and the Lakeside edition promptly sold out. Random House then quickly brought out this trade edition which also proved enormously popular and helped cement both the book's reputation and popularity. An uncommonly nice example of arguably the best known edition of this American classic.
Read more: Constance Martin, "Rockwell Kent's Distant Shores: The Story of an Exhibition," Arctic March 2002.
New York: Random House, 1930. Full title: Moby Dick: Or The Whale. 7" x 5.25". Original black cloth, stamped in silver with Kent-designed titles and art. In matching original dust jacket. xxxi, , 822, pp, with 275 reproductions of Kent's illustrations. Jacket lightly worn with some mild edgewear, soil, rubbing, and a chip to front bottom corner. Book has tiny tear to cloth at top of spine and touches of shelfwear. Overall, sound and clean.
Very good plus in like jacket.
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