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The Bridge of San Luis Rey. by  Thornton Wilder - Signed First Edition - 1927 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 96138)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

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The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

by Wilder, Thornton

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • Signed
  • First
Condition
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About This Item

New York: Albert & Charles Boni, 1927. First edition of the author's masterpiece and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Octavo, original cloth, cartographic endpapers, illustrated by Amy Drevenstedt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author, "For Rufus H. Hathaway with all the regard of Thornton Wilder Tornoto March 1929." Near fine in a good jacket reinforced to the verso. Illustrated by Amy Drevenstedt. Housed in a custom chemise jacket with red morocco spine label. "Few novels identify their basic plotline as succinctly and forthrightly as the opening line of Thornton Wilder's 1927 novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey: "On Friday noon, July the twentieth, 1714, the finest bridge in all Peru broke and precipitated five travelers into the gulf below." The novel's conceit is this: a certain Brother Juniper was himself about to step out onto the bridge when it broke and subsequently witnessed the plunge of five people into the abyss below. Brother Juniper wonders if the tragedy happened according to a divine plan or was simply a random instance of misfortune. His curiosity leads him to investigate the lives of the five victims to prove that the bridge collapse and the resulting deaths were indeed divine intervention--that God intended for them to die then and there. But, of course, the point of the novel is that there is no commonality among them, other than the fact that they are all simply human, with their own frailties. Wilder ends his at-once urgent and serene novel with this haunting passage: "But soon we shall die and all memory of these five will have left the earth, and we ourselves shall be loved for a while and forgotten. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning" (Brad Hooper). "One of the greatest reading novels in this century's American writing...Wonderfully lucid reading" (Edmund Fuller). Named by Modern Library as one of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century and named by Time Magazine as one of its 100 Best English-language novels from 1923-2005.

Synopsis

The Bridge of San Luis Rey is American author Thornton Wilder's second novel, first published in 1927 to worldwide acclaim. It tells the story of several interrelated people who die in the collapse of an Inca rope-fiber suspension bridge in Peru, and the events that lead up to their being on the bridge. A friar who has witnessed the tragic accident then goes about inquiring into the lives of the victims, seeking some sort of cosmic answer to the question of why each had to die.

Read More: Identifying first editions of The Bridge of San Luis Rey.

Reviews

On Oct 5 2010, Sergerca said:
We all have a worldview (don't we?) that influences just about everything we encounter. Literature is no exception. Perhaps that is why I thought the main point of Thornton Wilder's outstanding The Bridge of San Luis Rey was so obvious.In many of the reviews I've read, many have stated that Wilder leaves the main conclusion up to the reader. I must disagree. The final line, so quoted by many of the reviewers, makes it all very clear to me. "All those impulses of love return to the love that made them." Perhaps, had Wilder capitalized the second "love" more would have drawn the same conclusion as I. That love is, of course, the love of the Father. This short book is rooted in Christian realism -- summed up in that final page. Life and God's ways as they pertain to life, are a mystery to the believer. Seemingly saintly people die far too early in inexplicable circumstances-- a bridge that has lasted for centuries one day breaks under the weight of an old woman, a cripple, an old man, a young girl, and a young man. But the "why" is not for us to know. We all must live in the comfort that it is His will that reigns, not ours, and that the love which sustained us in this life will see us to the next. Perhaps Brother Juniper found his answer. I know I recognized mine.

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Details

Bookseller
Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
96138
Title
The Bridge of San Luis Rey.
Author
Wilder, Thornton
Book condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Albert & Charles Boni
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
1927
Keywords
Bridge of San Luis Rey First Edition, Bridge of San Luis Rey Thornton Wilder Signed First Edition, Thornton Wilder Signed First Edition

Terms of Sale

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About the Seller

Raptis Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 4 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.co.nz member since 2012
Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
verso
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [More]
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [More]
spine label
The paper or leather descriptive tag attached to the spine of the book, most commonly providing the title and author of the... [More]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]
Cloth
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
inscribed
When a book is described as being inscribed, it indicates that a short note written by the author or a previous owner has been... [More]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also... [More]

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