MAIN STREET. The Story of Carol Kennicott.
New York: Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920. Original medium-blue cloth lettered in orange.
First Edition of the book that brought fame to Sinclair Lewis -- the first of his five great novels of the 1920s (followed by BABBITT, ARROWSMITH, ELMER GANTRY and DODSWORTH).
Carol Milford, a girl of quick intelligence but no particular talent, after graduation from college meets and marries Will Kennicott, a sober, kindly, unimaginative physician of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, who tells her that the town needs her abilities. She finds the village to be a smug, intolerant, unimaginatively standardized place, where the people will not accept her efforts to create more sightly homes, organize a dramatic association, and otherwise improve the village life... Carol draws away from her husband, falls in love with Erik Valborg, a kindred spirit, and finally goes to Washington to make her own life. When Kennicott comes for her, two years later, she returns with him, for, though she feels no love, she respects him, and being incapable of creating her own life appears not unhappy to return to the familiar, petty Gopher Prairie. [OCAL]
MAIN STREET was wildly successful in its initial year, with the result that the publisher kept turning out more and more copies without intended differences ("many printings before publication" -- Johnson); this copy has perfect type on page "54" and on the last line of page 387 ("may"), though there is some batter at the lower right corner of p. 307. This copy, without the virtually-unobtainable original dust jacket, is in near-fine condition (spine slightly faded). A Johnson "High Spot" (p. 50); Modern Library "100 Best Novels" #68. [Note: this copy came to us with a facsimile first-issue dust jacket, which we shall pass along if a buyer wishes.]. Item #14991