Book History

Author: Eudora Weltly

Eudora Welty

1909-2001

Eudora Welty was born on "April 13, 1901, in Jackson Mississippi. Welty died of pneumonia in July 23, 2001 in Jackson, Mississippi. Welty's parents were Christian Webb (an insurance company president) and Chestina (Andrews) Welty." [10] Eudora Welty had the opportunity to receive a wonderful education. She "attended Mississippi State College for Women (now Mississippi University for Women) from 1926-27 and she received her B.A., in 1929 from the University of Wisconsin. Welty also attended Columbia University Graduate School of Business from 1930-31." [11]

During her career Welty accomplished many things that other writer is her time period we also doing. she started her career by "working for newspapers and radio stations in Mississippi during the early depression years and also worked as a publicity agent for the state office of Work Progress Administration (WPA). Welty was also briefly a member of the New York Times Book Review staff, in New York, NY and an honorary consultant in American Letters, Library of congress beginning in 1958." [12] Welty's world changed the world of literature. Eudora Welty's work "marked by a subtle, lyrical narrative state, Welty's work typically explores the intricacies of the interior life and small heroism of ordinary people. Welty choose to write about the lives if the people she encountered during her life and writing in the styles of folk materials, interrelationships of everyday Mississippi life, and romance." [13] Delta Wedding "was Welty's first novel and marks a significant change in her focus of writing from dreamlike atmosphere to life in the Mississippi Delta. Delta Wedding looks back at the pastoral world of the plantation in the South." [14] Eudora Welty "was perhaps the most 'honorarium' writer in the history of American letters." [15] Welty has received many honors and awards during her life time. Here are but a few of her wonderful accomplishments.

Accomplishments: (All of information for accomplishments found in Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website from Mississippi Quarterly; Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p)..

-"From 1920-1951 Welty won many on The O. Henry Awars and Best American Short Stories" (Academic Search Complete)..

-"1952 Welty was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters" (Academic Search Complete).

-"1958 Honorary Consultant to Library of Congress" (Academic Search Complete).

-"1973 Pulitzer prize for Fiction for The Optimist's Daughter" (Academic Search Complete).

-"1980 Medal of Freedom given by Jimmy Carter" (Academic Search Complete).

-"1981 Medal of Excellence from Mississippi University for Women" (Academic Search Complete).

Eudora Welty during her lifetime won many awards for the literature she produced. Welty was not awarded for her first novel Delta Wedding in 1946. However, Welty is an author who changed the world of literature and her books should not be forgotten.

Notes: [10]Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). record (Permalink) http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live.] [11] Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). record (Permalink): http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live] . [12] Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p. record (Permalink) http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live. [13] Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). record (Permalink): http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live]. [14]Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). record (Permalink): http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live] . [15] Marris, Susanne. Eudora Welty. Introduction. Orlando, Flordia; Harcourt, INC., 2005, xi). Information for this section was found from "Eudora Welty." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 13 Oct. 2011. http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CH1000104864&v=2.1&u=viva_mwc&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w Marris, Susanne. Eudora Welty. Introduction. Orlando, Flordia; Harcourt, INC., 2005. Academic Search Complete by the University of Mary Washington Website. Mississippi Quarterly;Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). record (Permalink): http://ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=38215081&site=ehost-live
Bibliographic Information

Delta Wedding from the rare book collection at the University of Mary Washington is a first edition book. The book is signed by the author. The book contains a signed message and the message inscribed is "With Good Wishes to Edward Naumburg [a member of the Grolier Club] - Eudora Welty." [1] The original cost of the book was $2.75 and the book is covered with a "fine jacket (with minor edge wear) and the University paid $383 for the book during the 1989-1990 academic school year."[2] The book Delta Wedding is in wonderful condition, but the pages are starting to turn yellow. The pages seem to be done from wood pulp paper because the book was made in 1946 after World War II and after the war wood pulp was commonly used.

Delta Wedding was published in 1946 by Harcourt, Brace and Co., in New York. "Delta Wedding only contains pages 3-247. The book does not contain a forward author, bibliography, or introduction. The novel starts on page 3 and the title page is on page 1, but pages 1 and 2 or not labeled in the book. Delta Wedding also does not contain any roman numbers. The book was published in English in 1946 and the novel is fiction." [3] The copy right of the novel belonged to Eudora Welty.

Delta Wedding has seven chapters which are labeled by roman numbers at the top of each chapter. The book does not contain a table of content. Each of the chapters has different sections number 1-9. Chapter I has 2 sections, Chapter II has 2 sections, Chapter III has 6 sections, Chapter IV has 2 sections, Chapter V has 9 sections, Chapter VI has 4 sections, and Chapter VII had only 2 sections.[4]

Notes: [1] The University of Mary Washington, Simpson Library, Special Collections, Recoreds of University Libraries, Record Group 10.R4. [2] The University of Mary Washington, Simpson Library, Special Collections, Recoreds of University Libraries, Record Group 10.R4.] [3] Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York:Harcourt, Brace and Company., 1946. [4] Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York:Harcourt, Brace and Company., 1946 Information from Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1946. The University of Mary Washington, Simpson Library, Special Collections, Records of University Libraries, Record Group 10.R.4.
Physical Description

Philip Gaskell wrote "in 1900 more than 99 per cent of paper was machine made." [5] Delta Wedding was published in 1946 making the book a product of the "Machine- press Period." [6] The binding on Delta Wedding is a modern binding. "The process of using rubber solution was abandoned from about 1870 until the middle of the twentieth century when it was revived, with a more durable plastic coating for the backs of leaves, as the familiar (and to librarians deplorable) the thermoplastic binding of modern paperbacks." [7] Delta Wedding represents the start of a change in book binding that has been continued till today.

Delta Wedding has a leaf slip cover as decoration because the outside cover of the book is not decorated, except with the title being on the binding of the book along with the author's name. The author's name is first on the binding and the title of the book comes second. The book looks to have been "rounded and backed and then placed in the board into the paper hallow" [8] The book looks to have been done by what Gaskell calls the "Mechanical Composition and Type from 1875-1950." [9] The book is in very good condition, but the pages are starting to turn a little yellow.

Notes: [5] Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Biblioraphy. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972. 228. [6] Ibid. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Biblioraphy. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972. 228. [7] Ibid. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Biblioraphy. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972. 234. [8] Ibid. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Biblioraphy. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972. 274. [9] Ibid. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Biblioraphy. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972. 274. Information used was from Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972.
Illustrator: Charles Alston

Delta Wedding has no illustrator. Delta Wedding does have a jacket design and endpapers by Charles Alston.[1] Information cannot be found on the Charles Alston who worked on Delta Wedding.

Notes: [1] Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1946.
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & Company

Harcourt, Brace & Company

383 Madison Avenue, New York 17

The publishing company that produced Delta Wedding has gone through many changed since it began. Here is the history of Harcourt, Brace & Company. Harcourt Brace and Howe "was launched on 29 July in 1919 at 1 West Forty-Seventh street New York after Alfred Harcourt and Donald Brace left Henry Holt and Company to found their own firm. Harcourt had been in the editorial and trade sales departments and brace had worked in the book planning and manufacturing. The Firm had a third partner Will D. Howe, head of the Indiana University English Department, who took the company into the textbook publishing." [16]

The companies first best seller was "Lewis's Main Street (1920) and in 1928 Harcourt, Brace became American publishers for Pegasus Press of Paors, which publishes fine books on art. Harcourt resigned as president of the company in 1942, Brace served as president until 1948, and William Jovanovich, who joined the test department in 1947, became President at the end of 1954 at the age of thirty-four." [17] Delta Wedding was published while Brace served as president of the company in 1946.

The publishing house seems to have been successful, however, "under Jovanovich the house entered its period of greatest growth and expansion. In 1960 Harcourt, Brace merged with Tests and changed its imprint to Harcourt, Brace and World. The company was also renamed in 1970 to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich." [18]

The company today is named Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. They published Welty’s work because the company was branching out into new genres during the early 1930s and that allowed for the company to take on Welty’s novel in 1946.

When Delta Wedding was being published through the company the company was not going through its growth period, but it was change of machine printing that Delta Wedding was made in.

Notes: [16] Gale Dzwonkoski, Elizabeth. "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Harcourt, Brace and World; Harcourt, Brace and Company; Harcourt, Brace and Howe." American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback. Ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit:12:09 PM Document URLhttp://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CH1220000422&v=2.1&u=viva_mwc&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w.] [17]Gale Dzwonkoski, Elizabeth. "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Harcourt, Brace and World; Harcourt, Brace and Company; Harcourt, Brace and Howe." American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback. Ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit:12:09 PM Document URLhttp://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CH1220000422&v=2.1&u=viva_mwc&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w.] . [18] Gale Dzwonkoski, Elizabeth. "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Harcourt, Brace and World; Harcourt, Brace and Company; Harcourt, Brace and Howe." American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback. Ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit:12:09 PM Document URLhttp://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CH1220000422&v=2.1&u=viva_mwc&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w.] Information for this section was found in Literature Resources from Gale Dzwonkoski, Elizabeth. "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Harcourt, Brace and World; Harcourt, Brace and Company; Harcourt, Brace and Howe." American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback. Ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit:12:09 PM Document URL http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?&id=GALE%7CH1220000422&v=2.1&u=viva_mwc&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w
Manifestations

Delta Wedding was first printed as a hard back book in 1946. [19] Since 1946 Delta Wedding has gone from being a book to being on CD. WorldCat Database through the library at the University of Mary Washington shows that "Delta Wedding published by Harcourt, Brace and co., 1946 is located in 1, 676 libraries world wide. In San Diego the publishing of the novel by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1991 & 1946 can be found in 538 libraries, The cassette tape recording of Delta Wedding published by Recorded Books in Prince Frederick, MD in 1994 can be found in 282 libraries, and the compact disk by Recorded Books, Prince Frederick MD, 1994 is in 158 libraries." [20]

WorldCat shows how Wetly's novel has been reprinted and made by many different companies throughout the years. WorldCat also proves that Eudora Welty's literature has not been forgotten in the literary world and has moved from being a printed book to being a recorded book on CD and tape. However, through the research I have done Delta Wedding has not been made into a book for e-readers as of yet. That may be a sign that Welty's novel has been forgotten by the new technology generation.

Today a regular copy Delta Wedding can be found for "$11.50 by Amazon.com, new for 17cents, used for 1cent, and a collectable for $5.oo. A kindle edition of the book is going for 9.52 on Amazon.com. However a rare first edition signed copy is going for $531.84 on Amazon.com."[21] Amazon.com]. The price of the rare signed editions of Delta Wedding has gone up in price over the years because the book has turned into a collector’s item.

The University of Mary Washington has two copies of Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty. One is the book I am researching a first edition and the second book is in the stacks and is a later reprint. Welty's work is common and a reprint can be found in many libraries from looking at WorldCat. However it seems that a person would have to search for Delta Wedding because it is not as common as other literary works. Delta Wedding is significant to history because the book is a piece of twenty century literature and the book displays not only the tradition of novels, but the change in how books were made in the 1940s.

Notes: [19] Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Company., 1946.] [20]WorldCat. University of Mary Washington's Library Datebase Online. "Delta Wedding". Literature Resources from WorlCat. Web 12 Oct. 2011. [21] Amazon.com]. Information for this section is from: amazon.com WorldCat. University of Mary Washington's Library Datebase Online. "Delta Wedding". Literature Resources from WorlCat. Web 12 Oct. 2011. http://newfirstsearch.oclc.org.ezproxy.umw.edu:2048/WebZ/FSEmail?sessionid=fsapp6-43643-gtqloovi-zy34b:entitypagenum=5:0:entityemailfrom=record:entityemailrecno=3:entityemailresultset=1
Bibliography

Academic Search Complete. University of Mary Washington Website. (Mississippi Quarterly; Apr2009 Supplement, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p229-232, 4p). accessed October 12, 2011.

Amazon.com

Gale. Dzwonkoski, Elizabeth. "Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Harcourt, Brace and World; Harcourt, Brace and Company; Harcourt, Brace and Howe." American Literary Publishing Houses, 1900-1980: Trade and Paperback. Ed. Peter Dzwonkoski. Detroit: 12:09pm

Gale."Eudora Welty." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2006. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.

Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. Oxford University: Oxford University Press, 1972.

Marris, Susanne. Eudora Welty. Introduction. Orlando, Flordia; Harcourt, INC., 2005.

The University of Mary Washington, Simpson Library, Special Collections, Records of University Libraries, Record Group 10.R4.

Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1946.

WorldCat. University of Mary Washinton Library Datebase Online. "Delta Wedding". Literature Resources from WorlCar. Web 12 Oct. 2011.

Proposed Image was taken by Jamie Waite on October 12, 2011. The Image is of the book Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty.

Essay

Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty is a book that is common in the way it was made in the 1940s, but rare in that it has since become a collected piece of literature.

Delta Wedding was made by machine press in the 1940s with wood pulp paper that was ordinary during the 1940s. Delta Wedding was published by Harcourt, Brace & Company in 1946 in New York. The publishing company made Delta Wedding into a limited edition book because the company mass produced the book to earn money. Harcourt, Brace & Company had the business strategy of making Delta Wedding look appealing to readers as well as making the book cheap and affordable. They made the book a first edition, had the endpapers done at both ends of the book with nice art work, a cover jacket done in a royal purple, and the top pages of the book colored in purple to match the cover jacket.

Delta Wedding in the rare book collection at the University of Mary Washington is rare because the book is a signed first edition by the author. Welty did not have a business strategy to sign her books so that they would become valuable, however over time the value of a signed first edition has gone up since Welty’s death. Welty just wanted to write and sell her books. First editions of books are commonly made during the author’s lifetime and Welty was able to see Delta Wedding through production and see the outcome of her work. In hindsight, Harcourt, Brace & Company and Welty did not know that they were making the book exceptional, but the book became rare since it was a signed first edition with an elaborate covering.

Book collectors over time have grown to see the value in Delta Wedding and many libraries may have a copy of Delta Wedding, yet the University of Mary Washington has one of the few first edition signed copy editions of Delta Wedding that exist. Delta Wedding is important to history because it shows how a book can start off common and become rare over time because of steps that the publishing company and author took together without knowing they were working for a common goal.


Submitted by Jamie Waite
Published: April 15, 1946
Call Number: RARE PS 3545. E6 D44- 1946
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