Majors and Minors: Poems by Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
According to Charles Blockson, “Dunbar (1872-1906) was the leading Afro-American literary’ figure before World War I.” DANB informs through “the help of Dr. H. A. Tobey of Toledo and other white friends whom Tobey brought together, Dunbar was able to publish in 1895 his second collection of verse, Majors and Minors. The work contained 148 pages, 86 of them presenting verses in classic or standard English. The other poems were printed under the heading “Humor and Dialect.” Although Dunbar thought of his poems in standard English as “Major,” critics from the very beginning have tended to change his classification. Modern scholars realize that Majors and Minors is a remarkable work, and that it contains some of Dunbar’s best poems in both dialect and standard English.”
This is Dunbar’s second book and one of 500 copies printed. This copy does not conform to BAL 4917; the binding color, its design, and the book’s floral endpapers are distinct in presentation; the boards are not beveled, for example. We suggest this copy is either an unknown issue or the first edition, in a variant binding. Rare, thus and an exceptionally lovely copy.
Description: Majors and Minors: Poems by Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
[Toledo, Ohio: Hadley and Hadley for the Author, 1895.] First Edition. Unknown issue in a variant binding. Tan gilt lettered cloth; floral endpapers. Frontispiece portrait of the author. Binding lightly spotted; Dunbar poem clipping to pastedown; a near fine copy.
Blockson, Afro-American Exhibition #138. Work p458. Blockson 101 #54: “His first two books of poetry, Oak and Ivy and Majors and Minors are rare and beyond the reach of most collectors of Afro-Americana.”