1899 MESSAGE TO GARCIA Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Roycrofters W W Denslow Illumined Initial 11 pages


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Here is a nice early version of “A Message to Garcia”, the inspirational missive that launched Elbert Hubbard to fame in 1899. Printed by the Roycrofters in East Aurora, New York, this copyright 1899 paper version has one illumined initial designed by W W Denslow, signed by him with a tiny seahorse at lower right of the design. Denslow was a Roycrofter before he illustrated the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. About 5 5/8″ by 8 5/8″ and only 11 numbered pages (some other printings dated 1899 have 14 or 9); this is the first book #46 in the McKenna bibliography. Also, this printing has a different version of the Denslow initial–a large galleon instead of the sea monster in the 14 or 9 page version. The page with the initial (and presumably the rest of the text) is the same as that in the first Garcia in permanent binding shown on p. 115 of the excellent Roycroft reference “On a High Shelf”. The back cover reads in part: “We have reprinted the article for the benefit of those Discerning Ones who appreciate a good thing. Done in booklet form, on Holland handmade paper, with one illumined initial, price 10c each”.

Booklet in very good condition, with clean covers, corners bumped, heavy toning to free endpapers. String binding intact, prior owner’s writing opposite title page. A venerable early copy of Hubbard’s classic essay, with the added Denslow connection.