[her first novel] Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912. 4 pp undated ads. Original blue cloth.
First Edition of Willa Cather's first novel, about world-renowned bridge-builder Bartley Alexander, his mid-life crisis, and a new bridge with a flaw; the novel was published near the end of Cather's stint as managing editor of McClure's Magazine. ALEXANDER'S BRIDGE takes place in New England, largely in Boston, as it would not be until the following year (with O PIONEERS!) that the author would realize that her best writing would reflect her own upbringing on the Nebraska prairies.~This copy is of the second and usual issue, with the half-title after rather than before the title leaf (only a very small number of the initial edition had the half-title first). This copy is in smooth blue cloth stamped in gilt; some are in purple cloth (no priority), and other later ones are in blue-grey cloth stamped in blue. (The book did not sell well, and some of the 5,270 copies were issued in this last binding only after MY ANTONIA had boosted Cather's popularity in 1918.) Condition is bright and just about fine (slightly bumped at the top of the spine), although there are ex-library indications on the front pastedown and (faintly) on the rear free endpaper. Crane A5.a.1. Item #14191