[New Preston:]: 1922. Author's edition. First printing, limited to fifty copies, signed by both Speyer and Wal. With seventeen etchings, most including text and image, printed on rectos. Boards partially faded, a little very light foxing. A very good, clean copy. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author: ""To John L. Huber from his friends Leonora Speyer. Edgar Speyer. 1924. Quarter cloth over decorative boards, printed paper label on front cover. Octavo. Unpaginated. Item #16062
Leonora Speyer (1872-1956) was an American poet and violinist. She was the daughter of Count Ferdinand von Stosch of Mantze in Silesia, who fought for the Union army, and Julia Schayer, a short story writer. She studied music in Brussels, Paris, and Leipzig. She married the banker Edgar Speyer, and lived with him in London until 1915, and then in New York, where she began writing poetry. She won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book of poetry "Fiddler's Farewell." The subject of the present book is the Oberammergau Passion Play, which has been performed in Bavaria since 1634. It was written by Othmar Weis, J A Daisenberger, Otto Huber, Christian Stuckl, Rochus Dedler, Eugen Papst, Marcus Zwink, Ingrid H Shafer, and the inhabitants of Oberammergau, with music by Dedler. Since its first production it has been performed on open-air stages in the village. The text of the play is a composite of four distinct manuscripts dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The play consists of scenes from the Old Testament which prefigure events in the New Testament, with musical and choral accompaniment.
Bernhardt Wall (1872-1956) was a pioneer etcher and producer of fine books. Born in Buffalo, New York, he studied at the Buffalo Art Student's League , and gthen in New York, he studied under Henry Reuterdahl and apprenticed uner William Auerbach-Levy. He started his career as a lithographic illustrator, and he soon became known as the "Postcard King," designing over 5,000 comic cards. In 1915, he travelled to Colorado, Nevada and California, where he made etchings of Indians, cowboys, and major cities, which he published in a portfolio called Under Western Skies. He then moved to California permanent. He published many books of his etchings, and is best known for his Western etchings, as well as etchings of the lives of prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Jackson.