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  M & S Library Number: 19197
 

    [SHELDON, EDWARD BREWSTER]. The Nigger. [Wrapper title only]. [New York]: Privately printed as manuscript for private circulation only, [1909]. 1st ed. 8vo. 123 pp. Orig. printed wraps. Wrapper chipped in two places; 1st leaf of text chipped at top. $400.00

     

    Rare advance copy for private circulation. Blockson 5990 for the 1910 trade edition. See NUC for both editions, recording two copies of our advance edition.

    "The height of the problem play of the period was The Nigger (1910). Using a popular framework Sheldon shows a politically ambitious hero suddently discovering that he has Negro blood. After advancing to the governorship and finding himself unable to help Negroes, he confesses his race and pledges himself to its service. As a writer of advanced ideas, Sheldon said bolder things about lynching and miscegenation than had been heard on the American stage before him." --Hartnoll, The Oxford Companion to the Theatre.`

    Written when he was only 23, this was Sheldon's second performed play. He was one of the first to graduate from Baker's "47 Workshop." He was hailed as the rising hope of a new generation of American playwrights. Quinn, in his History of American Drama, opines: "He is the celebrator of the aspiration of those who strive to lift themselves out of circumstances or a mode of life to something higher..."

 

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