Small Archive for Silent Spring
[c. 2000]. In 2000, Peter Matthiessen provided a 13-page introduction to a new edition of Carson's 1962 environmental classic, Silent Spring, tracing her career as both a writer and an activist and alluding to parallels with his own career (not least of which, though he doesn't mention it, is that both writers won both the National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal). This archive of seven books includes that edition of Silent Spring [London, Folio Society, 2000], which is fine in a fine slipcase, and six books on Carson from Matthiessen's own library, two of which seem to have been used by Matthiessen as partial source material, as follows:
  • Brooks, Paul. Rachel Carson: The Writer at Work. San Francisco: Sierra Club (1989). Heavily annotated by Matthiessen throughout, most often with underlinings and asterisks and arrows and question marks, but also with marginal notes, beginning in the preface, which starts: "Rachel Carson was a very private person," to which Matthiessen has added, "but not humorless, see Everglades." The Everglades passage he refers to occurs on page 83, apparently indicating nonlinear or multiple readings of the text. Very good in wrappers. Laid in is a 2006 article by Rebecca Solnit about the three separate revolutions begun in the early 1960s by Carson, Betty Friedan and June Jacobs.
  • Lear, Linda. Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson. Boston: Beacon Press (1998). With Matthiessen's underlinings, almost entirely in the first quarter of the book, in the introduction that speaks of Carson's character, and about up to the publication of her second book, The Sea Around Us. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket. A Peter Matthiessen bookplate was added to the front pastedown posthumously.
  • Lear, Linda. Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. NY: Owl Books (1998). Near fine in wrappers.
  • People of the Century. (NY): Simon and Schuster (1999). Carson was one of the 100 Time/CBS News People of the Century, and Matthiessen wrote the 6-page essay on her, which served as an early draft for his Silent Spring introduction. This is Matthiessen's copy, with his check mark in the Contents, and his small change to the wording of one sentence as published. A note to Matthiessen from the editor is laid in. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.
  • Matthiessen, Peter, ed. Courage for the Earth. Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson. Boston: Houghton Mifflin/Mariner (2007). Again, Matthiessen's own copy of this volume that he edited and for which he provided an 18-page introduction. This introduction is a re-worked and updated version of his 2000 introduction for the Silent Spring edition above, to which he has added an Editor's Note that stresses both Carson's courage as a scientist and her talents as a writer. Near fine in wrappers.
  • Souder, William. On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. NY: Crown (2012). An advance copy in the form of tapebound sheets, with an acetate cover. Fine.
A unique collection, linking two of the most influential nature writers of the 20th century. [#031724] SOLD

All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.