First Edition Points and Criteria for His Family

Year Published: 1917
Author Last Name: Poole
Author First Name: Ernest
Publisher: Macmillan
Original Price: $1.50
Pages: 320

Date on title page and copyright page are both 1917. No other printing statements should be present. The dust jacket is extremely rare and adds most of the value to the book. Larry James Gianakos, who has amassed over the course of 38 years a definitive collection of Pulitzer Prize literature, had this to say about the dust jacket:

"His Family's dust wrapper remains, aside from the obvious Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Confederacy of Dunces, and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, as the most evocative and stunning of all Pulitzer Prize fiction winners.  It was designed by E. C. Caswell, whose expressive art work graced the wrappers and included illustrations for many key literary works early in the twentieth century (Edith Wharton among them). Here Caswell depicts the home of protagonist, the widower Roger Gale, whose relationship with his diverse and conflicted three adult daughters forms the nucleus of the story. It is dwarfed by the surrounding tall office buildings and tenement dwellings constituting the Manhattan skyline.  It is a full wraparound illustration, and the buildings are gently washed away as the eye proceeds downward toward their foundations.  This too is surely by design, indicating that not merely is the Gale home and its nineteenth-century roots vanishing, but so is the way of life of that past century, as the new and quintessentially modern becomes more defined as it relentlessly moves upward, higher toward the sky.  This is why Caswell's building images become more defined as they follow upward, and why indeed those building images vanish entirely as the eye follows down toward their former foundations.  Indeed, this wrapper may well have been Caswell's masterpiece.  It is therefore not merely highly collectible as the first wrapper to grace a Pulitzer Prize for fiction, but as a work of great art in and of itself.  Someday soon, this book in proper first printing and with its original wrapper, may rival in value other outstanding works in their first printed and entire form, by writers much more seminal than Ernest Poole.  I foresee a time within the next decade that a first printing and original wrapper copy of HIS FAMILY becomes almost as prized as the very best of Wharton, Cather, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck."

Mr. Gianakos is now partnered with his lifelong friend and attorney Robert P. Safos to bring their collection into national institutionalization and to create a national philanthropic foundation.

His Family won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Picture of the 1917 first edition dust jacket for His Family.
Picture of the 1917 first edition dust jacket for His Family.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for His Family.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for His Family.

Here is the full wraparound where the buildings are gently washed away as the eye
Here is the full wraparound where the buildings are gently washed away as the eye proceeds downward toward their foundations. The $1.50 price is printed on the spine. Courtesy of the Pulitzer Prize collection of Larry James Gianakos and Robert P. Safos.

Picture of the front flap of His Family.
Picture of the front flap of His Family.

This is the back of the dust jacket for the first edition of His Family. Photo courtesy
This is the back of the dust jacket for the first edition of His Family. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, Inc.

Identification picture of His Family.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for His Family. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for His Family. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, Inc.

Picture of the front flap of His Family. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, In
Picture of the front flap of His Family. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, Inc.

The advance printing has this stamp on the title page.  It indicates that the publication
The advance printing has this stamp on the title page. It indicates that the publication date of His Family was May 16, 1917.

Autograph: Signature of Ernest Poole.
Autograph: Signature of Ernest Poole.

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