New York: Doubleday, 1950
First edition. A remarkable early association copy, inscribed on the first free endpaper:
“FOR / BEA - / WITH SPECIAL / GOOD WISHES AND / FRIENDLY THOUGHTS - AND, / AGAIN, MY THANKS - TO / YOU FOR YOUR KIND INTEREST / IN MY WORK - / FROM / RAY BRADBURY / JUNE 6, 1950”
A very good example in the original first issue dust jacket, supplied from another copy. With the bookplate of Bea Mahaffey on the front pastedown and a booksellers ticket at the corner of the pastedown. The boards showing toning and general wear. The spine with chipping and bumping to the extremities. Damage to the cloth at the crown appears to have been efficiently mended internally. A sound, solid volume still, with firm binding and the contents very good. The appropriate dust jacket unclipped and showing only a bit of edge wear and mild soling to the rear panel.
The Martian Chronicles is the first milestone of Bradbury’s career and remains one of his most significant works, encapsulating brilliantly America’s mid-century outlook towards science and technology, the prospect of nuclear war, as well as social issues at home. Presentation copies from the year of publication are scarce and significant, often carrying important associations with the earliest investors in Bradbury’s ideas. An editor and legendary figure in early science fiction fandom, Bea Mahaffey first worked under Raymond Palmer at Clark Publication, where she become known for finding merit in unrecognized works. By 1950, she continued with Palmer at Other Worlds. It was certainly under her encouragement that the magazine would publish Way in the Middle Air, perhaps the most difficult short story of the Martian Chronicles as it addressed racial issues that no author dared challenge at the time. As seen in his inscription to Mahaffey, these early recognitions of his work were very important to Bradbury, who would go on to become one of the greatest writers in science fiction.
Only four other presentation copies from 1950 are found in auction records, and the present is certainly one of the most special to come to market.