Abraham Lincoln, Four-Volume Limited Edition #81 of 525, Signed by the Author - Carl Sandburg, Circa 1939

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LINCOLN, Abraham. Abraham Lincoln: The War Years. New York: Harcourt, Brace, (1939). Four volumes. Octavo, original brown cloth, Lincoln's signature gilt-stamped on front covers, dark brown morocco spine labels, top edges gilt, uncut and largely unopened.

Deluxe signed limited first edition of Sandburg’s four-volume biography covering Lincoln's Civil War presidency, number 81 of only 525 large-paper sets numbered and signed by Sandburg, illustrated with 426 photographic halftones and 244 additional cuts of cartoons, letters, and documents.

Sandburg's monumental six-volume life of Lincoln, which concludes with The War Years, began with two-volume Prairie Years (issued separately in 1926). Sandburg grew up in the Knox County neighborhoods with which Lincoln was familiar. The poet once wrote: "For 30 years and more I have planned to make a certain portrait of Abraham Lincoln. It would sketch the country lawyer and prairie politician who was intimate with the settlers of the Knox County neighborhoods where I grew up as a boy, and where I heard the talk of men and women who had eaten with Lincoln, given him a bed overnight, heard his jokes and lingo, remembered his silences and his mobile face… Of all the sources from which men are to gather impressions of the personality of Lincoln, the foremost singly important one is the collection of his letters and papers, the speeches and writings of the man himself. This is the high document, always, to be lived with and brooded over, to be scrutinized and forgotten and gone back to and searched again with all gifts of imagination, intuition, experience, prayer, silence, sacrifice, and the laughter next door to tears" (The Prairie Years). "The most popular Lincoln biography yet written… Lincoln publications increased after the appearance of this work" (Monaghan 2877). Precedes the trade edition. Illustrated with numerous photographic plates and numerous additional cuts of maps, cartoons, letters and documents.  Without rarely found slipcase.

This set was owned by the DuPont family and was acquired via an estate auction.




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