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"First Woman" Collection

A collection of thirty titles representing "female firsts" in politics, business, journalism, the military, space, athletics, and the arts, over the course of the past century. All but one (by Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to hold federal office in the United States) is signed by the author.

The goal of the collection is to honor women who have persisted to overcome barriers to equal opportunity; the hope of the collection is that it soon becomes historical, as "female firsts" occur on pace with human achievement. [#034689] SOLD

No Horizon is So Far
Cambridge, Da Capo Press, (2003). An American and a Norwegian, both former school teachers, in 2001 became the first women to cross Antarctica on foot (walking, skiing, and ski-sailing). Bancroft, having been to the North Pole in 1986 with a mixed gender expedition, became, in 1993, the first woman to reach both poles when she led a four-woman expedition to the South Pole. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2005. Signed by both authors. Remainder stripe lower edge, else fine in a fine dust jacket.
BLUM, Arlene
Breaking Trail
NY, Scribner, (2005). Blum led the first women's ascents of both Denali and Annapurna, and she was the first American woman to attempt Everest. Inscribed by the author: "To Sonia, May you break your own trails to the summits of your dreams. Warm regards, Arlene Blum." Fine in a fine dust jacket.
Portrait of Myself
NY, Simon & Schuster, (1963). A complimentary copy of the photojournalist's autobiography. Signed by the author, who was the first Western photographer officially allowed into the USSR; the first female photographer hired by Fortune and Life magazines; America's first accredited female photographer in WWII, and the first to fly on combat missions; among many other accomplishments. Spot to upper foredge, sunning to the crown; near fine in a very good dust jacket with several edge chips, most notably at the spine crown. Publisher's "Compliments of the Author" card laid in.
CLINTON, Hillary Rodham
What Happened
NY, Simon & Schuster, (2007). A postmortem of the 2016 election by the first woman to be nominated as a U.S. presidential candidate by a major party, and the first to win the popular vote for president. Signed by Clinton. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
A Higher Standard
(Boston), Da Capo Press, (2015). Leadership strategies, from America's first female four-star general. Signed by the author, with "For James!" added, in what may be another hand. Co-written by Tomago Collins. With a foreword by Sheryl Sandberg. Corners tapped, and thin line on flyleaf; near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a rear flap crease and an off-center spine.
London, Simon and Schuster, (1990). The story of the skipper of the first all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World Race: an epic feat, not least of which was getting to the starting line after more than 300 companies turned her down for sponsorship. Inscribed by Edwards: To Marie, Where's my oilies?!" The book is composed of Edwards' log entries from the race, with context provided by Tim Madge. The 33,000 mile race, which took place over nine months in 1989-1990, became the subject of a riveting documentary film, also titled Maiden, in 2018. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.
GIBB, Bobbi
To Boston with Love. The Story of the First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon.
[Boston], Gibb Art Works/Worldwide Running Club for Peace, 1980/1986. A self-published pamphlet by Gibb about finishing the 1966 Boston Marathon -- after jumping into the race from her hiding place in the forsythia bushes at the starting line. Inscribed by Gibb: "For ____ -- many thanks for all your encouragement and support over the years. Your friend, Bobbi." Gibb has also changed by hand her printed phone number for re-ordering copies of the book. There is a copyright date of 1980 but also: "Special 20th Anniversary Issue printed for Worldwide Running Club for Peace, April, 1986." This seems to refer to the 20th anniversary of the run, not of the printing. Presumed first: we could find no earlier edition. Gibb had applied to run in the marathon but was told that women were neither allowed nor physically capable. She finished with a time of 3:20. In 1967, Gibb again ran unregistered, the same year that Kathrine Switzer ran after obtaining a bib number by registering using her initials instead of her name. In 1996, 30 years after her first run, the Boston Athletic Association officially recognized Gibb's wins and awarded her a medal. A low tech production, 32 pages of double-spaced text, accompanied by simple line drawings, stapled into a two-color cover. Rust to staples; near fine.
GILDERSLEEVE, Virginia Crocheron
Many a Good Crusade
NY, Macmillan, 1954. A memoir by the only female U.S. delegate on the committee that drew up the Charter of the United Nations. As a dean of Barnard College and a co-founder of the International Federation of University Women, she was appointed by FDR in 1945 to the seven-member delegation to the San Francisco Conference. Inscribed by Gildersleeve to another Barnard alumna. Some handling apparent to boards and minor shelfwear; a very good copy without dust jacket.
GRAHAM, Katharine
Personal History
NY, Knopf, 1997. The Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir by the first female Fortune 500 CEO (of the Washington Post company, in 1972). Inscribed by Graham: "To Betty Peters -- women's friend & mine/ Katharine Graham." With the bookplate of Elizabeth Peters on the front flyleaf. One corner bump, else fine in a near fine dust jacket with a shallow crease to the rear panel.
(HAYES, Helen). BROWN, Catherine Hayes
Letters to Mary: the Story of Helen Hayes
NY, Random House, (1940). Hayes was the first woman to win an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award). This book, about her life and work, was written by her mother, Catherine, and takes the form of letters to her grand-daughter, Hayes's daughter Mary. This copy is inscribed by Helen Hayes. Hayes was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1973. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986. Small bookplate under the front flap; foxing to the endpages; a very good copy in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket.
HILL, Lynn
Climbing Free
NY, Norton, (2002). The autobiography of the first woman -- and first person -- to free climb the classic "Nose" of El Capitan in Yosemite, in 1993. Hill repeated the climb the following year in under 24 hours. Both feats went unmatched for over a decade. Signed by Hill. Co-written with Greg Child. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
JASON, Victoria
Kabloona in the Yellow Kayak
(Winnepeg), Turnstone Press, (1995). During the course of four summers, the final two alone, Jason kayaked more than 4500 miles through the Northwest Passage of the Canadian Arctic, finishing in 1994, at age 49. Warmly inscribed by the author. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket.
JONES, Amanda T.
Rubaiyat of Solomon
NY, Alden Brothers, 1905. Jones -- poet, inventor of canning processes and oil heaters (as well as having the ability to speak to the dead) -- opened, in 1890, what may have been America's first all-women's business, the Women’s Canning and Preserving Company, stating, “This is a woman’s industry. No man will vote our stock, transact our business, pronounce on women’s wages, [or] supervise our factories. Give men whatever work is suitable, but keep the governing power...Here is a mission, let it be fulfilled.” This book of poems is inscribed by Jones: "Editor American Hebrew/ with compliments of the Author." Bookplate of Russ and Janet McGrew beneath the inscription. The title of one of Jones's previous books has been corrected in pencil on the title page, possibly by the author. Wear to the cloth at the edges and joints; a very good copy, without dust jacket.
KRONE, Julie
Riding for My Life
Boston, Little Brown, (1995). A memoir by the first woman to win a Triple Crown race, the Belmont Stakes, in 1993. Signed by the author, with a smiley face. Co-authored by Nancy Ann Richardson. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket, with a blurb by Billie Jean King.
LUDTKE, Melissa
On Our Own
NY, Random House, (1997). Ludtke was a reporter for Sports Illustrated when she was denied access to the New York Yankees' clubhouse during the 1977 World Series. In 1978, she won the court case Ludtke vs. Kuhn, gaining equal access for female reporters. This title is an in-depth study of unmarried motherhood in America, is inscribed by Ludtke in the year of publication. Very near fine in a very near fine dust jacket.
MACE, Nancy
In the Company of Men
NY, Simon & Schuster, (2001). The autobiography of the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, the military college in South Carolina, in 1999 (following Shannon Faulkner's long battle to become the first female cadet, in 1995). Inscribed by Mace. Written with Mary Jane Ross. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with a jacket blurb by author and fellow Citadel alumnus, Pat Conroy.
McCLURE, Tori Murden
A Pearl in the Storm
(NY), Collins, (2009). The story of the first woman to row solo across an ocean (the Atlantic), albeit mostly the story of her failing to be the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic the preceding year. Inscribed by the author. Made into the musical Row. McClure, who is a lawyer and an EMT, with an MFA in writing, and a Masters in Divinity from Harvard, was also the first woman to ski to the geographic South Pole. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
MYERS, Dee Dee
Why Women Should Rule the World
(NY), Harper, (2008). Myers, the first female White House Press Secretary (under Clinton), writes not just about her own experiences as a "first woman," but about the causes and consequences of a prevailing culture where women are underrepresented. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a near fine dust jacket creased along the lower edge.
O'CONNOR, Sandra Day
The Majesty of the Law
NY, Random House, (2003). A reflection on her experiences as the first female Supreme Court Justice, beginning in 1981. Inscribed by the author in the month after publication: "For Cynthia/ with admiration and affection -- Sandra." Small dampstain near base of spine and verso of jacket there; thus near fine in a near fine dust jacket.
Know Your Power
NY, Doubleday, (2008). The first female House Minority Leader (beginning in 2003), and then the first female Speaker of the House, during periods of Democratic control (2007-2011; 2019 forward). This book, subtitled, "A Message to America's Daughters" came out the year after Pelosi became Speaker, after 20 years in Congress. Inscribed by the author, with "best wishes." Fine in a fine dust jacket.
RANKIN, Jeannette
Some Questions About Pearl Harbor
NY, Plowshare Press, ca. 1943. Rankin was the first woman to hold federal office in the United States, having been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from Montana in 1916 -- before women had the right to vote -- and again in 1940. This is a small, 16-page pamphlet printing her speech to the House of Representatives on December 8, 1942, the first anniversary of her vote against the declaration of war on December 8, 1941. Rankin had also voted against World War I. Five copies in OCLC. Not signed. Near fine in stapled wrappers.
RICHES, Sue and Victoria
Frigid Women
(Shropshire), Travellerseye, (1998). A mother-daughter memoir by two of the twenty British amateurs who participated in McVitie's Penguin Polar Relay in 1997, the first all-female expedition to the North Pole, staged as a relay, with four teams of five. Inscribed by both authors, in 1999. Near fine in a fine dust jacket.
Race Across Alaska
(Harrisburg), Stackpole Books, (1988). The story of Riddles' becoming the first woman to win the Iditarod, in 1985, on her third try, by braving a storm that the rest of the field waited out. Written with Tom Jones. Inscribed by Riddles in 1988. Only issued in wrappers. Pages age-toned; near fine.
RIDE, Sally
To Space & Back
NY, Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, (1986). A heavily illustrated account of what it's like to live in space, written for young people, by the first American woman in space (following two Soviet cosmonauts). Inscribed by Ride, with "Reach for the stars!" Co-written with Susan Okie. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket.
Enter Talking
NY, Delacorte, (1986). Rivers was the first woman to host a late night talk show -- on Fox, after NBC failed to consider her as Johnny Carson's replacement despite her having been his permanent guest host for three years prior. Warmly inscribed by Rivers to Bob [Thomas], celebrity biographer, in the year of publication. Written with Richard Meryman. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
Changing the Rules
NY, Free Press, (2002). Siebert was the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to head one of its member firms. Siebert bought her seat on the exchange in 1967, and remained the only woman for more than a decade. Inscribed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
SWITZER, Kathrine
Marathon Woman
NY, Carroll & Graf, (2007). The memoir of the first woman to register for and run the Boston Marathon, in 1967. (Bobbi Gibb also ran in 1967, as well as in 1966, but unofficially.) Switzer registered for the marathon as "K.V. Switzer," and was then famously photographed being attacked by a race official at mile four. Signed by Switzer, who has added, "Go for it!" Slight corner taps, else fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket. Switzer was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2011.
Polar Dream
NY, Simon & Schuster, (1993). The story of the first woman to ski solo to the North Pole, in 1988, at the age of 50; her only companion the late addition of a husky named Charlie, who repeatedly kept Thayer from being eaten by polar bears. Inscribed by the author in the year of publication, with an added pawprint stamp. Foreword by Edmund Hillary. Owner name front pastedown; fine in a very near fine dust jacket.
Dateline: White House
NY, Macmillan, (1975). The very first copy that Thomas signed of her first book. Thomas was the first female member of, and first female president of, the White House Correspondents' Association, covering the White House through the administrations of ten presidents, from Kennedy to Obama. This copy is apparently inscribed by Thomas to a fellow journalist: "To Wendy/ with great admiration -- rooting for you to make it to the top of UPI./ Helen Thomas/ This is the first book I have autographed." There is an additional gift inscription to Wendy from a third party, apparently from the person who had the book signed for her. Foredge staining and tape shadow front flyleaf; very good in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket.
WHITE, Betty
If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won't)
NY, Putnam's, (2011). White earned the title "First Lady of Television" in part by being the first woman to produce a national TV show and the first woman to star in a sitcom (both Life with Elizabeth); the first producer to hire a female director (The Betty White Show); the first woman to receive an Emmy nomination (Hollywood on Television); and the first woman to win a Daytime Emmy for Game Show Host (for the show Just Men!). Inscribed by the author, "with many thanks." Laid in is a letter from a representative of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association transmitting the book, in the month of publication. Fine in a near fine dust jacket.