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Chopin, Kate.

Bayou Folk.


Chopin, Kate. Bayou Folk. Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895.
8vo.; green cloth, stamped in gilt; light wear.
Second edition, in the binding designed by Sarah Wyman Whitman; 500 copies; preceded by the
first edition of 1250 copies a year earlier. Chopin's first regularly published book (preceded by a
rare pamphlet), this collection of short fiction includes her best known story, "Desiree's Baby."
A presentation copy, inscribed on the first blank: Dear Mrs. Lindley: I shall always hear in
grateful remembrance your warm and outspoken commendation of these little stories. If they
have served somewhat to entertain you, then have they filled no unprofitable destiny. Yours
with affectionate regards, Kate Chopin. St. Louis, March Twenty-ninth, 1897.
Chopin, of French and Irish extraction, wrote sensitive and insightful stories after the manner of
De Maupassant, and enjoyed some popularity until her beautifully written novel, The Awakening,
about a mixed marriage and a married woman's love for a man not her husband. Despite the
relative tameness of the subject now, the novel rendered her persona non grata in regular
publishing circles, from which she never recovered. Her understanding of both the contemporary
feminine mind, and her observations of her Louisiana Creole neighbors were unparalleled for the
Hers is one of the rarest literary autographs of 19th-century American authors: some letters, a
commonplace book, and an autograph album kept by Chopin, spread over three institutions, are
all we can trace. We have encountered a total of three books Inscribed by Chopin (including this
one) over the past thirty years.

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