A Marsh Island. [First Gay American Novel]

Dr. Don James McLaughlin at the University of Tulsa has proposed that Jewett’s work is the first gay American novel.

“In A Marsh Island, the main character, a painter from New York City, spends extended time with a rural family while he recuperates from an injury. McLaughlin noted the multitude of elements which would have signaled to the late 19th-century reader that the young man is gay, starting with his incompatibility with rural living (“queer metronormativity”).” (Library Company of Philadelphia) 

The book’s attractive unsigned binding was designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman, the foremost binding designer in Boston.

Description: A Marsh Island. [First Gay American Novel]

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, (1885). Early printing. [iii], 4–292 pp. + [2 (blank)].Small 8vo. Bound in two olive and dark green cloth with black and gilt lettering. Light wear to binding; tiniest portion of cornertips of 15 or so pages gently bumped; a very good copy.


Wright 1978.

Price: $85.00

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