R. E. Lee: A Biography by Douglas Southhall Freeman, Four Volume Set, 1936

Freeman, Douglas Southall. R. E. Lee: A Biography. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1936. Four volumes, Octavo. Early edition. Rebound in ¼ leather and cloth, with raised bands, gilt titles and tooling to spine, new endpapers, and a matching archival slipcase to house all four volumes. 

Presented is a beautiful, four volume set of R. E. Lee: A Biography, by author and historian Douglas Southall Freeman.  An early edition, this book set was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons, in New York, in 1936, just a year after its first printing. Considered by many to be the definitive biography of Robert E. Lee, this work is celebrated for its balanced and judicious approach. It is presented here rebound in striking red leather and cloth boards, with raised bands, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, new endpapers, and a custom archival slipcase. 

Following the immediate critical success of his first published book, Lee's Dispatches, Douglas Southall Freeman was invited by New York publisher Charles Scribner's Sons to write a biography of Robert E. Lee. Freeman accepted and began his exhaustive research of Lee and his life in 1926. He evaluated and cataloged every item about Lee he could find. He reviewed records at West Point and the War Department and delved into correspondences, notes, accounts, and journals held in private collections. Freeman finished the book in 1933, after spending seven years and an estimated 6,100 hours of work researching and writing this biography.  

R. E. Lee: A Biography was published in four volumes in 1934 and 1935. In its book review, The New York Times declared it "Lee complete for all time." Historian Dumas Malone wrote: "Great as my personal expectations were, the realization far surpassed them." Critically celebrated, R. E. Lee: A Biography was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1935.

Douglass Southall Freeman (1886-1953) was an American historian, biographer, newspaper editor, and author. He worked extensively to research the life of American figures of history, notably Virginians Robert E. Lee and George Washington. He wrote multi-volume works on the two figures, for which he was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes.


Very good condition. Four volumes. Octavo. Boards are rebound in red quarter leather and cloth, with raised bands, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, and new endpapers. Internally, the original pages are clean and generally without marks. Light toning and scattered areas of foxing, as to be expected with age. 

The books are housed together in a new archival red slipcase. The lined slipcase has a photograph of Lee inlaid on the front and a ribbon pull. Book Dimensions: 9 1/2" H x 6 1/2" W x 2" D. Slipcase Dimensions: 10" H x 7" W x 8" D. 

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