Stanford, CA: Stanford University Libraries, 2015. First Edition. Complete in three volumes, each SIGNED by James Karman. Volume One, 1890 - 1930; Volume Two, 1931 - 1939; and Volume Three 1940 - 1962. Large 8vo. Various paginations. Illustrations; Preface; Index. Cloth in dustjackets. A fine set. Item #21802
Karman’s monumental work on the lives of Robinson and Una Jeffers as revealed through their letters written between 1890 and 1962. In addition to the letters written between 1890 and 1930, Volume One includes a substantial introduction to Jeffers’ life and work. Topics of special interest include the evolution of Robinson and Una's relationship (which involved the breakup of her first marriage), their move to Carmel, the building of Tor House and Hawk Tower, Jeffers' maturation as a poet, the couple's widening circle of friends, and their first trip together to the British Isles. Volume Two includes letters written between 1931 - 1939, revealing a turning point for Robinson Jeffers, both in his career as a poet and in his private life. Of note are his rising fame as a poet, his controversial response to the turmoil of his time, his struggles as a writer, the growth and maturation of his twin sons, and the network of friends and acquaintances that surrounded him. The letters also provide an intimate portrait of Jeffers' relationship to his wife Una—including a full account of the 1938 crisis at Mabel Dodge Luhan's home in Taos, New Mexico that nearly destroyed their marriage. Volume Three includes letters written between 1940 - 1962, spanning a pivotal moment in American history: the mid-twentieth century, from the beginning of World War II, through the years of rebuilding and uneasy peace that followed, to the election of President John F. Kennedy. Robinson Jeffers published four important books during this period—Be Angry at the Sun (1941), Medea (1946), The Double Axe (1948), and Hungerfield (1954). He also faced changes to his hometown village of Carmel, experienced the rewards of being a successful dramatist in the United States and abroad, and endured the loss of his wife Una. Jeffers' letters, and those of Una written in the decade prior to her death, offer a vivid chronicle of the life and times of a singular and visionary poet. The three volumes received notable attention including the following awards: Winner of the 2016 Oscar Lewis Award, sponsored by the Book Club of California. Winner of the 2016 Lawrence Clark Powell Award for Distinguished Scholarship, sponsored by the Robinson Jeffers Association. Winner of the 2016 Notable Contribution to Publishing Prize from the California Book Awards, sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California.