Essay Writer

CRANE, Clarkson

The Western Shore

New York: Harcourt, Brace 1925

8vo, pp. 303. Original black boards, lettered in brown on front panel and spine. Very slight bumping to cornares and spine ends, one small scuff to top edge of rear panel. A near fine copy, lacking the extremely scarce dustwrapper.

First edition.
Clarkson Crane (1894-1971) attended Berkeley, and this campus novel, set in 1919 and featuring a homosexual English professor, seems based on his time there (although the professor in question has never been identified). The Western Shore was poorly reviewed, and its gay content (which is considerable) was almost entirely ignored. Only the poet and playwright Stephen Vincent Benet made any reference to it : in his review for the New York Herald Tribune he warned that the novel contained passages that 'might well prove distasteful.' Crane, from a wealthy Chicago family, served in France in the U. S. Army Ambulance Corps during World War I. Unable to earn a living from his writing back in California he returned to France in 1923 and joined the expatriate community in Paris, writing this novel in a small Left Bank hotel. After its failure, Crane produced nothing for twenty years, and when his two novels of the 1940s also failed, he stopped writing altogether. A near fine copy of a very scarce title -- one of the first gay campus novels.

Keywords: Clarkson Crane

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