San Francisco: The Book Club of California, 1918. First Edition. First Edition. THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL COPY, Signed by him on the front free endpaper "Clark Ashton Smith, Auburn, California, June 27th, 1918", with a further inscription underneath this presenting the book to the author's friend (and literary executor) Roy Squires "For Roy Squires from Clark Ashton Smith, Pacific Grove, CA., Oct. 15, 1958". Quarto, original blue paper-covered boards with cloth spine panel, printed paper label on spine. 28 pp, decorations by Florence Lundborg, printed throughout in black and green, title page printed in red, black and green. 300 numbered copies printed, this being copy No. 51. Spine label rubbed, cloth a bit worn at the edges of spine panel, small marks to rear board. A sound, very good copy, now housed in a beautiful white quarter-leather case designed & built by the noted bookbinder, Gray Parrot. Item #310691
¶ Impeccable provenance. This copy of ODES AND SONNETS was originally given by Smith to bookseller (and Smith's literary executor) Roy A. Squires in the 1958. It was offered for sale by Squires in his LIST 75-3, on the occasion of the First World Fantasy Convention in Providence, 1975. This book was item number 3 on that list, preceded by H.P. Lovecraft's own copy of THE SHUNNED HOUSE, bound for him in full leather by R.H. Barlow, and Smith's own copy of THE STAR TREADER also bound in full leather. A remarkable survival, inscribed by Smith on the day he received his author's copies from The Book Club of California. Unlike copies of his other early self-published poetry books, ODES AND SONNETS was primarily distributed to Book Club of California subscribers, and only a handful of copies would have been sent to the author for presentation to his friends. We have previously handled a copy of this title inscribed to his old friend Andrew Dewing and dated June 28th, 1918 - the day after this inscription. Smith kept this copy for 40 years, in his cabin in Auburn and later, after his marriage to Carol Dorman, at his house in Paific Grove. When it was given to Squires in 1958 it was the only copy that he owned – so, presumably, this was both the first and the last copy through his hands.