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December Night
December Night by Willa Cather
by Willa Cather


 
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First Edition.
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New York, NY: Knopf (1933)

First Edition.

Very good in decorative dust jacket. Chipping on the top of spine and some wear to the corners. Interior is lavishly decorated and illustrated on every page. Boards are clean and sharp. No previous owner markings. Overall, a beautiful copy.

“December Night” was the short, but poignant, scene chosen to be published from Willa Cather's novel Death Comes for the Archbishop in a limited edition format. In “December Night,” the archbishop experiences a crisis of faith and is drawn to the sanctuary to pray in the middle of a cold, snowy night. Outside the door, he finds Sada, an old Mexican woman, who has suffered dreadfully at the hands of a white family. He prays with her and lends her his fur-lined cloak. Seeing the faith and perseverance of Sada, the Archbishop gains the strength to carry out his work.

“December Night” was hand-bound and lavishly illustrated by Harold von Schmidt and released for the 1933 Christmas season. The work reflects a peak in limited edition publishing after World War I and the willingness of small presses like Pynson Printers to work closely with the author. The short print runs of several hundred copies were sold out ten times over for their high quality and artistic taste.

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