New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1939. First Edition. Hardcover. SIGNED and not inscribed by the author on the title page in New Haven in July 1940 and quite scarce thus as Wilder nearly always inscribed books rather than simply signing unless it were for a limited edition. This is also a scarce Review Copy with a folded 8-1/2" x 11" sheet of green paper with Harper's letterhead giving the publication date as 13 April 1939 and with a long paragraph describing the origin of the play and a few details about its production. Wilder based MERCHANT on a play by Johann Nestroy dating back to Vienna of 1842. Initially a flop, MERCHANT was revised by Wilder into the Broadway hit THE MATCHMAKER, which in turn was later transformed into the monster musical HELLO, DOLLY!, the title song helping to thrust Louis Armstrong from the isolated world of jazz into popular American culture. Though there is no physical indication of such, this is from the collection of coal baron La Fayette Butler, many of whose books were left untouched from the time of purchase until their sale in the summer of 1999. A tight, crisp copy in a close to Fine dustwrapper with gentle wear to the head of the spine which is very mildly sunned. Triple Crown Winner: Signed, Review Copy, and simply Lovely condition. Fine in a Fine dustwrapper. Item #011267

Price: $4,500.00