Illustrated by C. D. Williams [1st and 3rd book] | Arthur I. Keller [2nd book]. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1902 | 1905 | 1907. Original red cloth decorated in white.
First Editions of all three novels that together make up Dixon's unabashedly racist Reconstruction Trilogy. Dixon, a native Tarheel, graduated from Wake Forest and became first a lawyer, then a legislator, and then a Baptist minister in North Carolina. THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS was his first novel "dealing with the race question in America"; it was followed in 1905 by THE CLANSMAN, which "was told from a virulently Southern point of view and painted the Ku Klux Klan as a band of dedicated knights extirpating an intolerable menace" [K&H]. THE TRAITOR is dedicated to "The Men of the South who suffered exile, imprisonment and death for the daring service they rendered our country as citizens of the Invisible Empire."~Published 37-to-42 years after the end of the war, these books (but especially THE CLANSMAN) were widely read, and -- with such famous episodes as Marion Lenoir (and her mother) leaping from a cliff after she was raped by a "Negro" -- helped to set back whatever progress had been made in race relations over those intervening years. But it was of course D. W. Griffith's masterful adaptation of THE CLANSMAN into the epochal 1914 silent film, "The Birth of a Nation," that would in large part be responsible for the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan -- and would cause these books to have an indirectly immense influence upon American race relations.~All three volumes are in FINE condition -- which is rather remarkable, given the tendency of the white cover pigment to erode (but not on these copies). Though it is controversial to offer Dixon's books today, they do represent a period of our history that is not to be forgotten. Loosely inserted into THE CLANSMAN is a signed note from Dixon to (Dean) Tatnall Brown of Haverford College. Item #13778