Peter Matthiessen's first novel, Race Rock, was published in 1954 when he was 26 years old. His last, In Paradise, a fictional meditation on the Auschwitz concentration camp, was published 3 days after he died in April, 2014, at the age of 86. Over the 60 years between the two books, Matthiessen carved out a place in American literature unlike that of any other writer. He became the premier writer of natural history of his era, with books such as Wildlife in America, The Shorebirds of North America, Birds of Heaven: Travels with Cranes, and Sand Rivers, which won the John Burroughs Medal, the highest honor awarded in this country for a book of natural history. He also used his writing to take on social causes and advocate for social justice: his natural history books did not shy away from political issues of environmental despoliation, and he also wrote such books as Sal Si Puedes, about Cesar Chavez and the migrant fruit workers' quest to unionize; In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, about an American Indian activist railroaded into prison; and Indian Country, which was a catalogue of abusive relationships between government and corporate interests against Native Americans. He studied Zen and became an ordained Zen priest, and he published a book of his Zen journals, Nine-Headed Dragon River. He wrote about his expeditions to the East in the National Book Award winner, The Snow Leopard, and in East of Lo Monthang, among others; and he wrote about his expeditions to Antarctica in End of the Earth. Through it all, he continued to write fiction, earning a National Book Award nomination for At Play in the Fields of the Lord; writing a novel in dialect, Far Tortuga; and creating his magnum opus, Shadow Country, a distillation of the fictional Watson trilogy he had published a decade earlier. Shadow Country earned him another National Book Award, as well as the William Dean Howells Medal, which is given out only once every five years, for the best work of American fiction published within that time. Matthiessen remains the only writer to have ever won the National Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction.
Matthiessen came of age with a generation of American writers in the postwar period, including William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut, William Gaddis, George Plimpton, James Salter, Terry Southern and others, many of whom became close friends over the years, to the point that eastern Long Island from the 1950s to 2000 became like an American Bloomsbury. But Matthiessen also had another cohort among nature writers, and a generation of the best of them looked to him as a model and mentor: their books, among others, can be found in this selection from his library. Matthiessen touched many lives in his many roles: famous and sucessful novelist, explorer, activist and advocate for the environment and for indigenous peoples and for social justice, and Zen practitioner, student and priest. The range of his interests was only rivaled by the depth of his wisdom across that range: these paragraphs can not do justice to either the man or his work, and the following list can only begin to. That said, we are pleased and honored to have the opportunity to present this selection of his library to you.
Note: Items #1-47 are books by Peter Matthiessen, from his own library, alphabetical by title. Items #48-114 are books from Matthiessen's library in which, in most instances, Matthiessen has a presence or a contribution; these are listed in chronological order of publication. Items #115-213 are books inscribed to Peter Matthiessen, listed alphabetically by author.
NY, Random House, (1991). Matthiessen's own working copy, marked "PM. Work Copy" of this collection of nonfiction, recounting aspects of his numerous trips to Africa over the years. About a half-dozen pages marked by Matthiessen. Bowed and well-handled; a good copy, lacking the dust jacket. Laid in are: a 1992 3-page typed letter signed to Matthiessen from Bob Drummond, saying it was fun to have him along on his first trip to Africa and that the trip was much more valuable because of his copy of African Silences; seven black and white snapshots of elephants, apparently sent by Drummond; a 1986 two-page autograph letter signed from elephant researchers Richard and Karen [Barnes], reporting news from Gabon and thanking Matthiessen for a copy of Sand Rivers; a 1994 exchange (conducted in French) between a Monsieur LeNoel and Matthiessen [Matthiessen's retained copy present] on the topic of pygmy elephants; a 1992 Time magazine article about the African rain forest; and a photocopy of a 2001 New York Times article about gorillas.
NY, Random House, (1965). His fourth novel, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 1966 and filmed nearly thirty years later. This copy is inscribed by Matthiessen to his parents: "For Mom & Dad/ Much love/ Pete." A tale of various Americans with widely divergent aims whose actions all have unintended effects on a tribe of Stone Age Amazonian Indians. This was the first novel to incorporate one of the themes that dominated Matthiessen's writings, both fiction and nonfiction, for the next 50 years -- the environmental and cultural costs of Western colonial hegemony. Foxing to page edges and endpages, staining to boards; at best a very good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
NY, Random House, (1965). Matthiessen's own copies of the first three printings of his fourth novel. Three copies: the first, second, and third printings, each unmarked but from Matthiessen's library. The books show some minor Long Island foxing and are about near fine; the jackets (which are interchangeable) are in only good condition, being highly prized by insects, particularly their spines.
NY, Random House, (1965). Matthiessen's own copy of the advance reading copy of his fourth novel, marked by Matthiessen, apparently for a reading. A portion of an index card has page numbers written in Matthiessen's hand, identifying five sections that are marked off, by Matthiessen, spanning the entire text: the opening paragraphs; three middle sections; and the final pages. Otherwise unmarked, but from Matthiessen's library. Foxing to endpages and page edges; spine creased; very good in wrappers.
NY, Random House, (1965). A fourth printing of his fourth novel. Inscribed by the author to his parents: "For Mom & Dad with much love/ Pete." Also signed in full, "Peter Matthiessen" on the facing pastedown. Modest foxing throughout, spine-sunned; a very good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
San Francisco, Sierra Club, (1992). Text by Matthiessen, who, at the invitation of musician Paul Winter, visited Lake Baikal in hopes of stirring a response that would help save the lake, which contains one-fifth of all the fresh water on earth and which has been threatened in recent years by acid rain and industrial pollution. Stunning photographs by Boyd Norton; introduction by the poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko. This is Matthiessen's own copy, in which he has written, "PM Work Copy/ Please Return." No other markings in text, but laid in are Matthiessen's annotated map of the lake and its coastline, as well as a 1995 International Herald Tribune news clipping about American preservation efforts at Baikal. Marginal dampstaining throughout text; very good in a near fine dust jacket. Together with: Baikal: The Blue Pearl of Siberia. Motion Picture Project Summary. [NY: Winged Victory Films, 2000.] A 14-page ringbound proposal for an IMAX film on Baikal; Matthiessen is listed as an advisor for the project. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Small stains to cover; near fine. As far as we can tell, the film was never produced.
NY, Viking, 1961. A chronicle of a trip through the Amazon wilderness, Matthiessen's second book of nonfiction and the first of his numerous personal accounts of travel and exploration, with which he carved out a unique position in American literature. Inscribed by the author to his parents: "For Mom & Dad/ with much love & many thanks/ Pete." Minor handling evident to boards, faint spine-sunning; a very good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
Boston, Shambala, 1995. A beautiful book of photographs of the Himalayan Kingdom of Lo, a part of Nepal on the border of Tibet, with text by Matthiessen and photographs by Thomas Laird. Inscribed by the author in the year of publication. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Boston, Shambala, 1996. A beautiful book of photographs of the Himalayan Kingdom of Lo, a part of Nepal on the border of Tibet, with text by Matthiessen and photographs by Thomas Laird. First thus: the issue in wrappers. Inscribed by the author, "...with many thanks for your kind note, and kind regards. Peter (Matthiessen)." Near fine.
NY, Random House, (1975). An unusual novel, almost an extended prose poem, that is, in part, an elegy to the turtle fishermen of the Grand Cayman islands, written in their dialect. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. A nice copy of a book that is often found in poor condition: an NYU course in book design cited this title as one that, because the text block is too heavy for the binding, is a classic example of poor book design. On the other hand, between the dialect and the unusual page layout, with the text typeset like poetry and large amounts of white space on the pages, it is the favorite book among many of the author's admirers.
(n.p.), (n.p.), (1983). Matthiessen's own working copy of the samizdat edition of his controversial and suppressed book about the confrontation between American Indian activists and the FBI in the early Seventies at Pine Ridge Reservation near Wounded Knee that left two federal agents and one Indian dead, and resulted in AIM activist Leonard Peltier being imprisoned for life, convicted of the agents' murder in a case that Matthiessen describes as rife with government malfeasance. Matthiessen, his publisher, and even some bookstores who had stocked the book were the targets of lawsuits brought by two government officials who claimed they were slandered by the hard-hitting book, which made no bones about its advocacy of the Indians' case. Until a landmark Supreme Court decision upholding Matthiessen's (and Viking's) First Amendment rights nine years after the lawsuits were filed, the book was shelved with remaining copies of it being pulped; paperback publication, as well as foreign publication, were blocked for nearly a decade. This edition was pirated during the years that the book was unavailable through normal channels. This copy has dozens of Matthiessen's corrections throughout. Plain white printed wrappers, with just the title and author indicated; comb-bound in an acetate cover. The acetate has yellowed; the binding is broken; the title page and prelims have suffered insect damage in the lower outer corners. Mediocre condition, but probably, in every other respect, the best copy of this book extant.
NY, Viking, (1984). Matthiessen's two working copies of this collection of essays on various issues related to American Indians, especially those issues having to do with the culture clash between corporations looking to exploit natural resources and tribes asserting their rights to control their land and its uses, while retaining a connection to the traditions by which they lived in harmony with their environment and held the land sacred. According to published reports at the time, it was during the course of researching this book that Matthiessen came upon the story that evolved into In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, which effectively sidelined this work for several years. Two copies from Matthiessen's library: one, marked by Matthiessen, "PM Copy," and with his corrections to (mostly) Chapter 5, "Akwesasne." A very good copy in a very good dust jacket, each of which bears a couple of coffee stains. The second copy is even more extensively marked by Matthiessen with underlinings, cuts, rewrites, and coffee stains. Laid in are a brief tribute to Maezumi Roshi and a two-page, heavily hand-corrected outline for a 2006 "Dharma Talk," in which Matthiessen mentions, among other things, the passing of William Styron and the passing of Craig Carpenter, who appears in Indian Country and to whom the book is dedicated. First ten pages of text detached, heavily corrected, and laid in; as mentioned, coffee-stained and also dampstained; a fair copy in an edgeworn dust jacket heavily stained, predominantly on the verso. For the two heavily marked author's copies, talk manuscript, and short tribute.
NY, Random House, (1990). Matthiessen's own copy of the first book in his highly acclaimed trilogy, later published in 2008 as the edited single-volume Shadow Country, which won the National Book Award and the William Dean Howells Medal. With a handful of passages marked by Matthiessen, most of which mention the character Henry Short. In a New York Times interview, after the publication of Shadow Country, Matthiessen said, "I brought some characters forward, and gave them a voice. Like Henry Short, a black man who probably fired the first shot." Indentation to spine; near fine in a good dust jacket, with some lamination separation on the rear panel and dampstaining, mostly visible on the verso.
NY, Random House, (1997). The second novel in the trilogy that began with Killing Mr. Watson, based on a series of events in Florida at the turn of the last century and using the novel form to explore the settling and development of that frontier, with an awareness of the ecological implications of that development. Inscribed by Matthiessen to author and Florida marine biologist Randy Wayne White, a longtime friend, addressed as "Cap'n Randy," adding "Abrazos!" For reasons unknown to us, not given to White; from Matthiessen's own library. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
NY, Random House, (1997). The second novel in the trilogy that began with Killing Mr. Watson, based on a series of events in Florida at the turn of the last century and using the novel form to explore the settling and development of that frontier, with an awareness of the ecological implications of that development. Inscribed by Matthiessen to Mike [Geary], with "many thanks again for a great day." For reasons unknown to us, not given to Geary; from Matthiessen's own library. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
NY, Random House, (1986). A volume about the fishermen of eastern Long Island and a way of life that, in the late stages of the 20th century, appeared to be irretrievably dying away. Matthiessen spent much of his life on eastern Long Island, and once ran a charter fishing boat off the island in addition to having worked for three years with commercial fishermen, so this sympathetic portrait was written from the perspective of one who, at least for period of a time, shared the life described. Inscribed by Matthiessen to his father: "Dear Dad - It's not the Race, but it's the same part of the country/ Thanks for teaching us about boats! Much love/ Pete/ Sagaponack NY 11962." [Zip code added, rather than date.] Also signed in full, "Peter Matthiessen," on the same page. The reference to "the Race" is to Race Rock, a reef off the coast of eastern Long Island, famous for its lighthouse and for being a hazard to sailors; it also gave Matthiessen the title for his first novel, published in 1954. Creasing to the last 20 pages; minor dampstaining to the lower edges; a very good copy in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket. An excellent family association, and one that sheds light on family and personal history.
(n.p.), (Rock Foundation), (1986). Matthiessen's own copy of the deluxe edition of his tribute to the fishermen of eastern Long Island and a way of life that, in the late stages of the 20th century, appeared to be irretrievably dying away. One of 500 numbered copies (although in all likelihood far fewer than 500 copies of this were ever produced). One volume, the text, is signed by Matthiessen. In addition to the second volume, of photographs, there is also an original print of one of the photographs from the book laid into a folding chemise and signed by the photographer, Lynn Johnson. Never formally offered for sale, copies of this edition were given out to attendees of a $500-a-plate benefit dinner for the historical society attempting to preserve the record and legacy of the fishermen's lives. Matthiessen has spent much of his life on eastern Long Island, and once ran a charter fishing boat off the island, in addition to having worked for three years with commercial fishermen, so this sympathetic portrait was written from the perspective of one who had shared the life described. This is copy No. 117, and is still in its original (opened) shipping box. Moderate Long Island foxing to the prelims and covers and to the mat of the print: a near fine copy in a fine clamshell case.
Bristol, Ampersand, (1984). One of Matthiessen's own copies of his first book of short fiction, a collection of stories that date from the Fifties and early Sixties. This is a hardcover copy: printed by a small press at a college in Rhode Island and issued to the trade only in wrappers, a few special copies were bound in hard covers for people involved with the project. Near fine, without dust jacket, as issued. Estimates were that about 10 copies were so bound. Scarce.
Bristol, Ampersand, (1984). One of Matthiessen's own copies of his first book of short fiction, a collection of stories that date from the Fifties and early Sixties. This is a hardcover copy: printed by a small press at a college in Rhode Island and issued to the trade only in wrappers, a few special copies were bound in hard covers for people involved with the project. Minor spotting to pages and covers; very good, without dust jacket, as issued.
Boston, Shambala, 1986. Matthiessen's own copy of these Zen journals spanning the years 1969-1982. A handful of markings by Matthiessen in the text, most corresponding to mentions of his teacher, Soen-roshi. Dampstaining to spine and rear cover; very good, lacking the dust jacket.
London, Collins Harvill: Shambala, 1986. Matthiessen's own copy of the first British edition of these Zen journals spanning the years 1969-1982. One passage marked by Matthiessen. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with one edge tear and a crease to the rear flap.
NY, Random House, (1988). Two books: first, Matthiessen's own working copy of this collection of ten short stories, seven of which were collected in 1984 in Midnight Turning Gray. Matthiessen has written "PM Work Copy" on the front flyleaf. The only story Matthiessen has worked on is the final one, the previously uncollected "Lumumba Lives," which has undergone a complete re-drafting in these pages. Laid in is a copy of a New York Times review of the book, as well as a photocopy of a letter from Don DeLillo to Matthiessen praising the story: "Lumumba Lives is a great story, one of the best I've read in many years. It brought me to a level of concentration I thought I'd lost forever as a reader. I couldn't help reading it first because I was curious to know what you've been up to most recently." Boards heavily stained, a good copy in a good, stained and edgeworn dust jacket. Together with: the uncorrected proof copy of the British edition [London: Collins Harvill, 1989], which reverses the order of the first two stories, and with blurbs by Don DeLillo and William Styron. DeLillo's blurb mentions "Lumumba Lives," and praises it extravagantly, as he did in the letter. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Minor abrasions to covers; very good in wrappers.
NY, Random House, (1989). The uncorrected proof copy. Published in 1989, with, on the last blank, Matthiessen's notes on the subject of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, beginning with, "Like the Ayatollah, I would like to make a very few brief [illegible] and ill-conceived remarks about a book I have just read - The Satanic Verses." The notes seem to suggest that his remarks are not to be concerned with Rushdie's "guilt," but that rather, like Leonard Peltier, "whether innocent or not, he was framed." Roughly 75 words, written on the blank facing the rear cover: the rear cover is beginning to detach; both covers are coffee-stained; a good copy in wrappers of the second issue proof, with the story "Horse Latitudes" in place of "A Replacement." Together with Matthiessen's copy of the first American edition of The Satanic Verses, unmarked but with a paragraph about Rushdie taped to the rear pastedown, with "Hitchens" written in the margin. The proof copy also has a number of annotations and markings in Matthiessen's hand in the story "Lumumba Lives," but these changes were not incorporated into the published book.
NY, Viking, 1955. A novel of partisan politics in Paris in the early 1950s and loosely based on Matthiessen's own brief experience with the CIA, in which he was asked to keep tabs on a young French communist leader during the period when Matthiessen was living in Paris and co-founded the Paris Review. Inscribed by the author to his parents: "For Mom & Dad. With much love. Pete." Two passages marked in the text, with page numbers written on the front pastedown: one of the passages begins, "Nevertheless, he respected his father -- " Heavy foxing to endpages; staining to boards; insect damage to cloth, which is splitting at the rear joint. A fair copy only, lacking the dust jacket, but an excellent family association copy.
NY/London, Harper/Secker & Warburg, 1954. Matthiessen's own copies of both the first edition and the first British edition of his first book, a novel, written while he was living in Paris, where he helped found the Paris Review. Unmarked, but both copies are from the library of the author. The American edition is mottled and foxed; a good copy only, in a fair dust jacket with several small chips and split unevenly at the front flap and the spine. The British edition is foxed and musty, a good copy, with portions of the dust jacket (front cover, front flap) laid in.
(London), Panther, (1964). Two copies of the first printing of the Panther paperback edition of Matthiessen's fourth book, third novel. Each copy has pages marked by Matthiessen -- one copy with two pages and the other with three -- indicating word changes or changes to sentence order. The Panther edition precedes the American Bantam paperback by a year (but the Bantam edition does not reflect these changes). Spine creased on both copies, one heavily; the other has a small upper corner chip. Each is about very good in wrappers.
NY, Random House, (1969). Inscribed by the author to his parents: "For Mom & Dad/ with much love/ Pete." Also signed in full on the facing pastedown. This is a second printing of Matthiessen's nonfiction account of Cesar Chavez and the struggles of the United Farm Workers to form a migrant workers' union to end the dramatic exploitation of temporary farm labor that was so prevalent in the 1960s and 70s. Mottling and sunning to spine; very good, lacking the dust jacket.
(NY), Delta, (1971). Two books: first, Matthiessen's own copy of the first Delta paperback printing of his nonfiction account of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. This book was the subject of a lawsuit, and later issues of the first edition came with a legal disclaimer pasted in. Matthiessen also revised it, and a new edition was issued a couple of years later. Marked by Matthiessen in the first 38 pages with sections to cut, and with a place to "begin" and "end" in the final pages, possibly for a reading; both of these sections noted in ink on the half title. A fair copy in wrappers: opened often enough that the front cover has separated and is now taped to the spine, presumably by Matthiessen. Laid in is a fax of a New Yorker article that Matthiessen wrote the month after Chavez's death in 1993. Together with the first mass market paperback edition [NY: Dell/Laurel (1973)]. This edition changes the "Epilogue" in the earlier editions into Chapter 14, and adds a Chapter 15 not present in either earlier edition. Matthiessen has marked and annotated a number of pages in Chapters 12 through 15 in this copy. An interesting glimpse at the evolution of a controversial text after the book was published.
NY, Viking, (1981). Matthiessen's own copy of this recounting of a safari into the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania, with a portrait of the land and the people who have shaped it. With photographs by Hugo van Lawick. Signed in full by Matthiessen and additionally inscribed by him with a 1981 Christmas greeting and a "Come see us!," but apparently never given away, as this copy is also marked by Matthiessen in the first 24 pages, as though mapped out for a reading; but also marked on page 130 with the question, "Insert Stuff Here?" Cocked, lower edges dampstained, a good copy in a good, edgeworn dust jacket. Winner of the John Burroughs Medal.
Garden City, Doubleday, (1972). Matthiessen's only children's book, illustrated by his longtime friend going back to their years in Paris, William Pene du Bois. Signed in full by Matthiessen and additionally inscribed by him on behalf of himself and his wife, in 1989. Near fine in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket.
NY, Modern Library, (2008). Matthiessen's own copy of the uncorrected proof copy of the single volume "rendering" of the "Watson Trilogy." The trilogy (Killing Mr. Watson, Lost Man's River, and Bone by Bone) had been a publishing idea that Matthiessen never quite made his peace with, causing him to rework the book back into the single volume Shadow Country, a "director's cut" of sorts, which won the National Book Award and later the William Dean Howells Medal, an award that is given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters only once every five years "in recognition of the most distinguished American novel published during that period." It also led to Matthiessen's becoming the first writer to have won the National Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. This edition includes an Author's Note about the process of rewriting the trilogy, with a half dozen of Matthiessen's corrections to the text. Matthiessen has also corrected the spacing of the fragmented prose on the final page and noted several other pages where he has corrected typos. A bulky proof, more than 900 pages, and with some spine creasing and a bit of sag to the text block. A very good copy in wrappers and, in our experience, a very uncommon proof.
NY, Viking, (1978). His National Book Award-winning volume, which recounts a trip to the Himalayas with naturalist George Schaller in the hopes both of encountering a snow leopard in the wild and of coming to terms with his wife's recent death from cancer. Unmarked, but one of Matthiessen's own copies. Very good in a very good dust jacket.
NY, Viking, (1978). A second printing of his first National Book Award winner, which recounts a trip to the Himalayas with naturalist George Schaller in the hopes both of encountering a snow leopard in the wild and of coming to terms with his wife's recent death from cancer. From Matthiessen's own library and with more than a dozen passages marked in pen by Matthiessen, all having to do with the porter and camp assistant Tuktken. There are a couple of other passages marked in pencil, with page notations in the prelims. Rear flyleaf excised, else a very good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
NY, Viking, (1978). Matthiessen's own copy of the limited edition issued by the trade publisher. One of 199 copies, bound in coarse blue cloth stamped in silver, different from the trade binding, in publisher's printed acetate jacket. This title's scarcest issue, which was never released commercially but distributed only to friends of the author and publisher, or in this case, to the author himself. Foredge foxed, lightly bowed, near fine in a near fine acetate dust jacket. Salon Magazine's top travel book of the century.
[NY], [Viking], [(1978)]. A Taiwanese piracy of Matthiessen's National Book Award-winning volume of his journey through Tibet (Inner Dolpo) with naturalist George Schaller. "Since the usurpation of Tibet by the Chinese, the Land of Dolpo...was said to be the last enclave of pure Tibetan culture left on earth..." Photo-reduced from the original Viking edition. Unmarked, but from the author's library. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Scarce edition.
Greenwich, Fawcett/Gold Medal, (1961). Gold Medal paperback #1106, "a classic and compelling story of suspense in the Hitchcock tradition," and a search to "uncover the Snow Leopard's incredible secret, [leading to] a harrowing, bloody chase through the midst of a springtime tulip festival," having nothing whatsoever to do with Matthiessen or the Himalaya or actual snow leopards, but coming from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Pages heavily age-toned, foredge tear to summary page, rear joint fragile. A good copy in wrappers.
NY, North Point, (2000). Two copies from Matthiessen's own library, each lightly marked by Matthiessen, one perhaps for a reading, the other perhaps for revision. One copy is stained, lacking the dust jacket, with a 2009 article about the Amur (Siberian) tiger laid in; the other copy is near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Introduction and photographs by Maurice Hornocker.
NY, Dutton, 1972. Peter Matthiessen's own working copy of this nonfiction book about Africa, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, with text by Matthiessen and photographs by Eliot Porter. "PM: Corrected Copy" written in Matthiessen's hand on the flyleaf, and with dozens of changes both by him and apparently by a copyeditor. In addition, marked by Matthiessen on a half dozen pages, as though for a reading, with a piece of scrap paper laid in noting those pages numbers. Also with a dozen pages of photocopies from a section on elephants laid in (taken from the paperback edition) with an exchange between Matthiessen and his editor on it, and a retained copy of a two-page 1977 letter from Matthiessen to his editor (Iain) transmitting the copy "of the infamous elephant pages," apologizing for a prior argument: "...how obtuse of me not to realize...that there might be certain prudish readers who would see what you rightly called love of life not as generous and spirited, as I intended, but as mere recklessness and folly...." He continues with more specifics about both the writing and the friendship. Two retained copies of lists of additional corrections are laid in, one addressed to "Jack" and "based on Elisofon's review in Natural History Mag." There is also a 1978 letter laid in to Matthiessen from a filmmaker hoping to make a documentary about the Dorobo of Kenya and Tanzania. The book itself is the correct first edition, in brown cloth, in the first issue dust jacket with both the $17.50 price and the introductory $14.95 price, good until October 25, 1972. After the date mentioned, the first issue jackets were clipped so that only the higher price showed; later issue jackets were unclipped and only had the higher price. Approximately 10 pages paperclipped at the top edges; the endpages are foxed; a very good, working copy, in a very good dust jacket. An historic collaboration between the preeminent writer on and the leading photographer of the natural world, this being a unique copy.
(Houston), Inprint/Fiocat, (2005). A limited edition excerpt from Matthiessen's 1972 book, issued as a gift for patrons of Inprint's Poets and Writers Ball 2005. Copy #29 of 300 numbered copies (there were an additional 60 proofs). Signed by Matthiessen. From the author's own library. Fine in intricately designed string-tied wrappers. Very uncommon: we had never seen another one prior to encountering this. Presumably, as an ephemeral gift that never entered the book trade, copies were limited to the attendees at the ball, and it's likely that many did not retain them after the event.
NY, Viking, (1962). Matthiessen's own copy of his third book of nonfiction, recounting the Harvard-Peabody Expedition to New Guinea. Laid in are two news clippings about New Guinea tribes, and a letter from (apparently) the director Robert M. Young regarding The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez and Alambrista! and including a copy of a 1966 letter from Cornelio van Kessel in Manila, 4 pages, densely spaced, recounting his version of the 1961 disappearance and death of Michael Rockefeller. Matthiessen's retained copy of his reply to Young is also included. The young Rockefeller's disappearance on the trip was a great mystery, and the competing theories had him either drowning or being killed and eaten by the local tribesmen. Van Kessel's 1966 letter affirms most of what came out in a 2015 book on the subject that is considered the most conclusive analysis. Offsetting to the pages where the clippings were laid in. Very good in a very good, edgeworn dust jacket, heavily worn at the folds. Together with: Matthiessen's copies of three books by Karl Heider, covering the Harvard-Peabody Expedition and the Dani tribe: first, Gardens of War (with Robert Gardner) [NY: Random House, 1968]: "In the beginning we numbered five: Jan, Michael Rockefeller, Karl Heider, Peter Matthiessen, and myself [Gardner]..." Signed by the authors as "Bob" and "Karl", with the additional notation "Cambridge Man '69." Near fine in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket. Second, The Dugum Dani [Chicago: Aldine, 1970]. Inscribed by Heider to Matthiessen (near fine in a very good dust jacket); and, third, a near fine copy in wrappers of Grand Valley Dani, third edition, [Harcourt Brace, 1997], also inscribed by Heider to Matthiessen,, "who was in it at the beginning." Matthiessen makes several appearances in the text of the latter two books, and has some of the photo credits on Gardens of War. Lastly, also included is Matthiessen's copy of the uncorrected proof of Milt Machlin's The Search for Michael Rockefeller [NY: Putnam's, 1972], which lists Under the Mountain Wall in the bibliography. Spine slanted and stained, about very good in tall wrappers. A more definitive group of books and related materials on the subject of this expedition would be hard, if not impossible, to assemble.
NY, Viking, 1959. Matthiessen's own copy of his first book of nonfiction, a survey of the effect of the Europeans on the fauna of North America and a classic in the field of conservation literature. Shortly after publication, the publisher reported that President John F. Kennedy had added the book to the White House's permanent library. Several small marginal marks by Matthiessen, perhaps for use in the 1987 revised edition of this title: in one marginal note he draws a comparison between Eisenhower's thoroughly unqualified and "disastrous" Secretary of the Interior, Douglas McKay, with Ronald Reagan's appointee for that position 30 years later, James Watt, an addition to the text that shows up in the 1987 edition. Pencil name and phone number on the front flyleaf. A very good copy in a good, worn dust jacket. Together with a copy of the revised and updated edition [NY: Viking (1978)], which is fine in a fine dust jacket.
NY, Viking, 1959. The dedication copy of his first book of nonfiction, which raises many of the issues that became the author's lifelong concerns and the subjects of many of his writings -- the impact of humans on the animals and plants of the ecosystems that we invade and then inhabit. The book was dedicated to his parents (by their initials), and is inscribed there by Matthiessen: "Sept. 18/ The very first copy of this book, taken, with its glue still wet, from the binder's warehouse on W. 20th [?] St. some five days before its publishers received their copies: [For E.C.M. and E.A.M. with love and many thanks] from Pete." That binding, which apparently hadn't dried when Matthiessen first picked up the book, is now cracked at the hinges; modest staining to boards; a good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
NY, Viking, (1973). Small quarto, reprinting the text of Matthiessen's classic Shorebirds of North America, with a new set of illustrations and a smaller format than that book. Inscribed by the author to his parents, "with much love," on Fishers Island -- one of his childhood homes -- in the year of publication. Page edges and prelims foxed, a very good copy in a good, dampstained dust jacket with one small chip to the upper rear edge.
Shelburne, Chapters, (1994). First thus, a paperback edition of his 1973 book, which was itself taken from the text of his 1967 classic Shorebirds of North America. This is Matthiessen's own copy, with a handful of pages bracketed, as though for a reading, and one typo corrected in the epigraph. Near fine in wrappers.
NY, Vintage Books, (2000). A trade paperback original collecting more than thirty years of Matthiessen's nonfiction. Inscribed by Matthiessen to his father in the month prior to publication: "For Dad - an advance copy (out in January) with much love/ Pete." Also signed in full, "Peter Matthiessen," and dated "Christmas '99." Reading creases, particularly on the front cover. Very good in wrappers.
NY, Vintage Books, (2000). Matthiessen's own copy of this trade paperback original collecting more than thirty years of his nonfiction. Nearly two dozen pages marked by Matthiessen, with brackets, arrows, or hatch lines, in six different chapters of the book, including a number of passages marked for deletion, although the context of such revision is unclear. A very good copy in wrappers.
NY, Harcourt Brace, (1936). Later printing . With Matthiessen's ownership signature and his notes on more than a dozen pages, e.g. "Eliot uses literature to make literature, it would be idiotic to misconstrue the author's method of association as plagiarism." On the front endpaper Matthiessen has transcribed the epigraph of Celine's Voyage au Bout du Nuit (Journey to the End of the Night) in the original French: the epigraph, in translation, reads "Our life is a journey/ Through winter and night,/ We look for our way/ In a sky without light./ - (Song of the Swiss Guards)." Elsewhere Matthiessen has written more extensively in the margins than was typically his habit: in the poem "Sweeney Among the Nightingales," he has not only translated the Greek-language epigraph ("Alas, I am smitten by a fatal blow") but recounts its context as "Agamemnon being killed in bath by Clytemnestra." In "Gerontion" he has identified in the margins the battles alluded to in the early lines of the poem. In "The Hollow Men" he has noted "Reference to Dante's Inferno/ canto's III & IV/ group of people - neither in/ hell nor in heaven./ Neither good nor bad." Numerous other poems bear similar marginal annotations. A revealing glimpse of the young Matthiessen's engagement with literature, poetry, and Eliot in particular. A fair copy only, lacking the dust jacket.
Paris, Garnier, (1937). Two volumes, rebound in leather. From the library of Peter Matthiessen, and stamped on the spine with the titles, volume number (I and II), "Paris," and the name "D. Love," Matthiessen's second wife. Leather drying on spine; about near fine.
NY, Modern Library, (1942). Later edition. With the ownership signature of Peter Matthiessen. Covers stained and sunned, with some play in the binding. A couple of tiny pencil marks in the margins. A fair copy, lacking the dust jacket.
Paris, Pierre Tisne, 1947. An overview of the Impressionist era, its painters and paintings, written by the head conservator of paintings at the Louvre, and heavily illustrated with black-and-white reproductions and a number of tipped-in color plates. Matthiessen's copy, with his signature, dated in Paris at Christmas, 1948, and with his markings, and a few notes, in the (French) text. Matthiessen was an undergraduate college student at Yale, spending his junior year abroad at the Sorbonne in 1948. Whether he studied this for a course or read it for his own edification is unknown. Heavily sunned, hinges cracked; a good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
NY, Knopf, (1948). Later edition. With the ownership signature of Peter Matthiessen. Edge-sunned; a very good copy in a fair dust jacket, missing the lower spine and separating along the folds.
London, John Murray, 1952. Matthiessen's fourth published story, published in this U.K. literary journal while he was living in France and, as best we can tell, never reprinted. This is Matthiessen's own copy, in which he has edited his story contribution, although ultimately these revisions appear nowhere else other than in this copy. The biographical information lists him as working on his first novel at the time of publication. Covers darkened with small stains; very good in wrappers.
London, Heinemann, (1952). Peter Matthiessen's copy, in which he has re-drafted his included story, "The Centrepiece." Roughly two dozen changes, in the space of ten pages, including a change in the ending. Matthiessen has written, on the flyleaf, "PM story edited in this volume." These changes were incorporated when the story was republished in the collection On the River Styx in 1989. Front hinge cracked, loss of color to spine extremities; a good copy, lacking the dust jacket, but for the front flap, which is laid in.
Paris, La Table Ronde, 1953. Peter Matthiessen's copy of the first issue of The Paris Review, which he helped to found. He is listed on the masthead as Fiction Editor, and his story, "A Replacement," is included. Other contributors to this first issue include William Styron and Terry Southern. Mild foxing; staining to the covers at mid spine; a very good copy in wrappers.
London, John Murray, 1956. Matthiessen's own copy, in which he has edited his story contribution. Covers darkened and creased, with small stains; a good copy in wrappers. As far as we can tell, this story was never reprinted so this author's copy is the only one to show these edits.
Stamford, Virginia Jevne, 1960. Bound mimeograph of Ward's memoir of Bladensfield, a famed Virginia plantation, edited by Peter Matthiessen, himself one of the "children of Bladensfield": Ward was his great-great-aunt. This copy is from the library of Peter Matthiessen and has "Edited by Peter Matthiessen" handwritten on the title page; the editing of Ward's memoir is normally unattributed. A very good copy in wrappers. Together with the 1978 Viking edition, published with Matthiessen's essay "Homegoing." Foxed; near fine in a very good dust jacket. The mimeograph is an unusual edition we have not seen before, and this copy contains previously unknown bibliographic information, presumably.
Stamford, Virginia Jevne, 1960. Bound mimeograph of Ward's memoir of Bladensfield; although unattributed, edited by Peter Matthiessen, himself one of the "children of Bladensfield," for whom Ward wrote this memoir, which focuses on her youth at the plantation during the Civil War years. This copy is from Matthiessen's library; some insect damage; good in wrappers. Together with the 1978 Viking edition, published with Matthiessen's essay "Homegoing." Near fine, lacking the dust jacket. Laid in is a letter to Matthiessen from David Winfred Gaddy, the co-author of a book on the Confederate Secret Service, which made mention of a James Carey, a Confederate spy who visited Bladensfield and is mentioned in Ward's memoir. Also laid in is a parchment reproduction of Lee's Farewell Address coupled with his letter to Jefferson Davis.
(MATTHIESSEN, Peter). KILPATRICK, Jack Frederick and Anna Gritts
Dallas, Southern Methodist University, (1965). From the library of Peter Matthiessen, with a 1967 gift inscription to him from his wife, and with Matthiessen's underlinings and a few notes, mostly in the introduction. Near fine in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket.
NY, Grove Press, (1965). The first American edition of Robbe-Grillet's collection of essays that argued for a redefinition of the novel form, to adjust to the times, and a discarding of outdated 19th century conventions. Heavily annotated by Peter Matthiessen, with underlinings, asterisks, question marks, and a long list of page numbers on the rear endpages -- all of it evidence of an emphatically engaged reading. Modest foxing; very good, lacking the dust jacket.
(NY), New Directions, (1969). A collection of essays and prose poems by the Beat poet and Zen student, his first volume of prose, with a title that is a play on the root meanings of "ecology." This copy is from the library of Peter Matthiessen and has Matthiessen's ownership signature and several of his markings in the text. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. A nice copy of the book and, by virtue of ownership, a good association.
San Francisco, Sierra Club, (1970). Large quarto, a book in the Sierra Club "Exhibit Format Series," which began with Ansel Adams' This is the American Earth, which was published in 1960. Photographs by Caufield, with selections from Matthiessen's writings, both nonfiction and fiction, an introduction by Paul Brooks, and an essay by John Mitchell, the editor-in-chief of the Sierra Club. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Minor foxing; very good in a very good dust jacket.
Berkeley/NY, University of California/Simon & Schuster, (1971). The third printing of the first title and the first printing of the second title in Castaneda's series of books about the mythical Yaqui Indian shaman, don Juan Matus. Castaneda's first three books were written as a student of anthropology at the University of California, and all of the don Juan books were taken as nonfiction until skeptics began questioning them in 1976, by which time Castaneda had already disappeared from view. The books were originally considered to be groundbreaking, in that they posited for the first time a coherent, systematized, and still living, body of spiritual beliefs and practices among Native American tribes, something that had not been done before. Peter Matthiessen was once quoted to the effect that had there been an established, coherent practice of a "Native American way" he might have chosen that over the "Zen way" that he did choose, if only because of its origin being closer to his own. Both of these copies from the library of Peter Matthiessen and bearing his ownership signature and his underlinings and notations throughout. In the second volume, in particular, his annotations tend to note similarities between don Juan's insights as a Yaqui shaman and perspectives derived from Zen and other Oriental philosophical systems. Matthiessen had read these books shortly before the trip he recounts in The Snow Leopard, and in various sections of that book he spends time commenting on, and speculating about, the similarities between Tibetan and Native American cultures. Very good copies, each lacking their dust jacket.
Berkeley, Shambala, (1972). Second printing. An account of a monk's pilgrimage in Tibet in the years just prior to its being taken over by China, when its traditions and lineages were still unbroken. Heavily marked and annotated by Matthiessen throughout, with evidence of multiple readings, and with his ownership signature. Used: about very good in wrappers.
NY, Viking/Esalen, (1975). Second printing. An attempt to integrate paranormal phenomena such as clairvoyance and precognition with mystical traditions and advances in understanding the physical world by way of quantum mechanics. With Peter Matthiessen's ownership signature and his markings throughout: Matthiessen's notes indicate a degree of skepticism with the author's arguments and assertions even as they show sympathy with his perspective. Mild foxing; near fine in a very good dust jacket.
Philadelphia, Lippincott/National Audubon Society, (1976). Selections from Audubon magazine, including Matthiessen's piece on the Galapagos. Inscribed to Peter Matthiessen "in appreciation" by the editor, Les Line. Near fine in a very good dust jacket.
London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1977). First thus. With Peter Matthiessen's ownership signature and his extensive markings throughout. One section appears to have been marked for republication or reprinting, with instructions to his typist -- for unknown purposes but perhaps as a handout for members of his Zendo. Used; about very good in wrappers.
Canoga Park, Orirana Press, (1979). A bibliography of Matthiessen's writings, covering the first 28 years of his writing career. One of 2000 copies. This copy is from the library of Peter Matthiessen, with an autograph note signed, "P" laid in, simply requesting that "this stuff" be returned. Near fine, with addendum slip laid in.
Canoga Park, Orirana Press, (1979). A bibliography of Matthiessen's writings, covering the first 28 years of his writing career. One of 2000 copies. This copy is from the library of Peter Matthiessen, with Matthiessen's ownership signature on the front flyleaf. Near fine, with addendum slip laid in.
NY, Harper & Row, (1979). A previously unpublished piece by Matthiessen that sheds light on the moment of his formal commitment to Zen Buddhism. The simultaneous issue in wrappers. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. Near fine.
San Francisco, Sierra Club Books, (1982). Inscribed by the author to Peter [Matthiessen], "In the spirit of the search. With gratitude for your work and for your presence on our Baikal journey." With Matthiessen's markings in the preface and introduction. Remainder mark; near fine in a very good dust jacket. Together with the first printing of the 1998 University of Georgia Press edition, again with Matthiessen's markings in the same introduction (as well as the foreword and preface to this edition). Fine in wrappers. Lastly, together with the University of Georgia Press's edition of Shepard's Thinking Animals, for which Matthiessen provides a cover blurb. Near fine in wrappers.
NY, Random House, (1982). The uncorrected proof copy. From the library of Peter Matthiessen and with his markings and a few notes in the text and on the rear cover, and with the author's address written in a different hand on the "About the Author" page. Several of Matthiessen's annotations mark passages referring to legendary Sioux leader Crazy Horse; Matthiessen's book about the Wounded Knee siege, In the Spirit of Crazy Horse, was published the previous year. Very good in wrappers.
NY, Harper & Row, (1983). Matthiessen's copy, heavily highlighted in the first 200 pages (of this 600 page book, e.g. 1940s & 1950s). For the most part, the mention of the author himself in the text go unnoticed by Matthiessen, although he has highlighted passages about a number of other authors as well as those having to do with writing in general in that period, and criticism in particular. A very good copy, lacking the dust jacket.
(Hamden), Archon, 1983. Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen in 1984, pointing out that he may be interested in the chapter on Moby-Dick, and hoping that "you and Viking triumph" -- referring to the lawsuits filed against Matthiessen and his publisher over In the Spirit of Crazy Horse. Matthiessen's underlinings and markings in both the chapter on Moby-Dick and the chapter on Heart of Darkness. Near fine in a very good, spine-sunned dust jacket.
NY, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, (1984). Both the uncorrected proof copy and the first edition of her first novel, a highly praised book that won the Los Angeles Times book of the year award and helped to open up the publishing world to a host of Native American writers. These copies are both from the library of Peter Matthiessen, who provided a blurb for the dust jacket: "A remarkable first novel, quick with agile prose, taut speech, poetry and power, conveying unflinchingly the funkiness, humor and great unspoken sadness of the Indian reservations, and a people exiled to a no-man's-land between two worlds." The proof is very good in wrappers; the book is very good in a very good dust jacket with a "Compliments of the Author" card signed by Erdrich clipped to the front panel.
Santa Barbara, Capra Press, 1986. Inscribed by Paulson to Peter [Matthiessen]: "who understands what's at stake! Please help lift our book high enough into the international spotlight so it can fly on its impressive inner strength." Matthiessen, one of more than 100 contributors, has two paragraphs in the "Problem" section. In part: "I can not be optimistic about the future so long as we put second-rate people of stunted vision and no imagination in high office." Near fine in wrappers.
NY, Farrar Straus Giroux/Michael Di Capua, (1988). From the library of Peter Matthiessen. "Compliments of the Author" card laid in, along with a typed note signed by the publisher, Michael Di Capua, requesting comment. A Matthiessen blurb for Woiwode's earlier book, Poppa John, appears on the back of the dust jacket. Foxing to top edge; near fine in a near fine, internally foxed dust jacket.
NY, Random House, (1989). McKibben's landmark book, widely viewed as the first book for a general audience on the subject of global warming. From the library of Peter Matthiessen, and with his underlinings and asterisks in the first 20 pages. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Boston, Twayne, (1991). A short critical biography in Twayne's United States Authors Series. Inscribed by the author to the subject, Peter Matthiessen: "For Peter, Interpretation is the sincerest form of admiration. Keep writing, Bill Dowie." Fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Santa Fe, Clear Light, (1992). The limited edition of this collection of pieces on Indian tribes and the history of their relationships with the United States government. Contributors include such notable Native American writers as Vine Deloria, Jr., John Mohawk, Oren Lyons, and others. From the library of Peter Matthiessen, who provides the foreword. Copy 18 of 300 numbered copies. Signed by eight contributors, including Vine Deloria, Jr. Matthiessen is not included among the signers. Copy 18 of 300 numbered copies. Leatherbound, fine but for the contributor's page adhering to the rear cover, a production flaw. In a fine slipcase. A contributor's copy of an uncommon edition.
Seattle, University of Washington Press, (1993). Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen, who is listed in "Literature Cited" and has a quote (about shorebirds, not about Paulson) on the front flap. Slight top edge foxing, else fine in a fine dust jacket.
Berkeley, Parallax, (1994). Matthiessen's own copy of this posthumous book of essays by Kelly, for which Matthiessen provides a foreword. Kelly was a German environmental activist and co-founder of the German Green Party, who was killed under mysterious circumstances, which Matthiessen's introduction alludes to. Fine in a near fine dust jacket, with a Matthiessen blurb on the front flap.
Durham, Carolina Wren Press, (1994). Short stories: winner of the Sonja H. Stone Fiction Contest. With a blurb by Matthiessen on the rear cover. And with a full page inscription from Lewis to Matthiessen and also with an autograph letter signed laid in -- an indication of how powerful an influence Matthiessen's writings, and then meeting Matthiessen, had been for the author. The book is fine in wrappers.
NY, Macmillan, 1994. An advance copy, in the form of velobound typeset pages. With Matthiessen's markings, underlinings and a couple of his notes in the text. Matthiessen provided a jacket blurb for the finished book, and the markings indicate a close and thorough reading of the text. Cover stained; velobinding detaching. Very good.
NY, Pantheon, (1995). Peter Matthiessen's copy of this anthology about some of the world's "last great places," published under the auspices of The Nature Conservancy. Matthiessen's piece is titled "Great River," and he has made a handful of changes to his text and has annotated the front flyleaf with "PM - Work Copy." Most of the writings in this volume are original; other contributors include Barry Lopez, Jim Harrison, William Kittredge, Barbara Kingsolver, Louise Erdrich, Bill McKibben, Terry Tempest Williams, Ann Zwinger, and many others. Laid in is a flyer for a women's zen meditation retreat and a Nation review of a book by J.M Coetzee. A fine copy in a near fine dust jacket with a tear at the lower front corner.
(NY), Abrams/ Wildlife Conservation Society, (1995). Large quarto, heavily illustrated with color photographs, a typical production of Abrams, which is well-known for its beautiful art books. Edited by Goddard, with a foreword by Matthiessen; excerpts from several of Matthiessen's books also help make up the text. This copy is from Matthiessen's own library and is inscribed by Goddard to Matthiessen, "with gratitude," and with an autograph note signed by Goddard to Matthiessen laid in. Near fine in a fine dust jacket.
Wheaton, Quest Books, (1995). Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen: "Thank you for endorsing my book. I hope to meet you some day." Matthiessen has a blurb on the front flap: "An unusually stimulating and exhilarating book, of profound value to those seeking to clarify the essential nature of everyday existence -- in short, all of us." Near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Southampton, Parrish Art Museum, (1995). The catalog of an exhibition, to which Matthiessen was one of the lenders ("Landscape: Summer, 1985"). Previously dampened; very good in wrappers. Laid in is a scrap signed by Pam [Lord], "Thanks so much, Pete!" The Lords and the Matthiessens were longtime friends and neighbors in eastern Long Island.
NY, writer & Readers, (1996). A novel by the British artist, writer, journalist and filmmaker. Warmly inscribed by the author to Peter [Matthiessen], who provided a blurb for the rear of the dust jacket. Laid in is an autograph note signed by Porter, with additional thanks, and calling Matthiessen "instrumental" in getting the book published. Slight foxing to top edge, else fine in a fine dust jacket.
(San Francisco), Sierra Club Books, (1997). The limited edition of this book on the "Legend and Lore of the Great Cat." Copy No. 33 of 500 copies; this copy from Matthiessen's own library. Signed by the editor, Maurice Hornocker. Matthiessen's contribution is an excerpt from his book Tigers in the Snow. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
(Sag Harbor), Canio's Editions, (1997). Poetry, by a writer with experience as both a commercial and sportfishing boat captain. Inscribed by the author to Peter [Matthiessen] and his wife. Matthiessen has provided a blurb for the rear cover.
NY, Henry Holt, (1998). The author's first book, which won a Lannan Literary Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, among several other awards. Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen in the month prior to publication: "with 'deep' appreciation for your help and inspiration. Best Fishes, Carl Safina [with a drawing of a swordfish]." The text has a paragraph excerpting from Matthiessen's Men's Lives, and the jacket features a blurb by Matthiessen on the rear panel. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. Safina's second book, Eye of the Albatross, won the John Burroughs Medal, and he has become one of the most highly praised writers on the natural world and the human despoliation of it.
(Toronto), Stoddart, (1998). Second printing of this collection of essays on economics, environment, and sustainability. Inscribed by the author to Peter Matthiessen and with Matthiessen's markings and notations throughout. Very good in wrappers.
NY, Knopf, 1998. The author's well-received second novel. Warmly inscribed by the author to Peter [Matthiessen] and his wife: "my 'winter' family! With much love." Matthiessen provided a blurb for the rear of the dust jacket. Trace foxing to top edge, else fine in a fine dust jacket but for a crease to the front flap.
NY, Knopf, 1998. The uncorrected proof copy of this narrative in the form of a single long poem. This copy belonged to Peter Matthiessen and is well-read and annotated by Matthiessen, predominantly in the "Climb" and "The Mountain" sections. Thumbed-through, with stained covers; phone number written on front cover. Good in wrappers. Matthiessen and Merwin were longtime friends.
(Shepherdstown), Orion Society, 1999. Program for the Orion Society's Millennium Conference, at which Matthiessen was a participant, along with Wendell Berry, Barry Lopez, William Kittredge, Bill McKibben, Ann Zwinger, Rick Bass, Terry Tempest Williams, etc. Unmarked, but from the library of Peter Matthiessen. One of the key events of the environmental movement at the turn of the 21st century: Matthiessen's talk there was both challenging and controversial, urging participants to beware of adopting a holier-than-thou attitude as a result of their concerns for the environment. He opened his speech with a quote from Goethe: "There is no crime of which I do not deem myself capable." 64 pages; near fine in stapled wrappers.
NY, St. Martin's/Dunne, (2000). The second book by the author of the contemporary classic, The Abstract Wild. Warmly inscribed by the author to Peter [Matthiessen] -- "Companion on the long path into the deepest mountains - elder and hero." Matthiessen provides a glowing blurb for the book on the back of the dust jacket. With an autograph letter signed from Turner to Matthiessen laid in. Foxing to top edge, else fine in a near fine dust jacket.
NY, Atlantic Monthly Press, (2001). The advance reading copy. From the library of Peter Matthiessen and with his extensive underlinings and notes in the first 124 pages. Matthiessen's Wildlife in America is listed in the bibliography. Near fine in wrappers. Together with a fine copy of the advance reading copy of Flannery's Here on Earth (2010) and a very good copy of the uncorrected proof of The Weather Makers (2006), the latter of which also has Matthiessen's underlinings in the first 44 pages (four chapters).
(MATTHIESSEN, Peter). BATEMAN, Birgit Freybe and Robert
2002. A thank you card from the Batemans, constructed of six photographs by Birgit Freybe Bateman taken at the Matthiessens' home in Sagaponack, NY in 2002, presumably after the Matthiessen's hosted the Batemans. Signed by both Birgit and Robert, with "a thousand thank yous." Birgit had done the photographs for Matthiessen's book End of the Earth; Robert had done the paintings for Matthiessen's book The Birds of Heaven. Ribbon-tied; fine. A beautiful record of the Matthiessens' now-gone home, by an excellent photographer who was also a friend and sympathetic spirit.