It's been a week since the celebration of Gwethalyn Graham at the Writers' Chapel, which isn't to say that she is no longer on my mind. Looking through my collection, I'm beginning to think that nearly all Anglo Montreal families once had a copy of Earth and High Heaven. That pictured above, published in 1948 by Bantam, was ours. I picked up my own, the Lippincott first American edition (below) from the "FREE" box at Cheap Thrills. Like Lionel Shapiro's The Sixth of June, there was a time when it was pretty thick on the ground.
|Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1944|
I like the Lippincott cover because it reminds me of Charles Addams; those trees are most certainly his. The English Jonathan Cape edition, which I understand to be the true first, doesn't have nearly as much going for it:
|London: Jonathan Cape, 1944|
|New Delhi: Editions for the Armed Services, 1944|
|Entre ciel et terre|
Paris: Tallandier, 1946
Welcome to the depressing world of Canadian literature.
Outside the English-speaking world, it's the Germans – yes, the Germans – who have paid the most attention to Graham's novel.
|Im Himmel und auf Erden|
Nürnberg: Nest Verlag, 1948
|Maa ja korkea taivas|
Helsinki: Otava, 1947
|New York: Paperback Library, 1965|
Gwethalyn Graham died in 1965, so was spared witness to the ugly New Canadian Library editions credited to "Gwenthalyn Graham".
Two bucks will buy a copy from a Yankee bookseller. That said, he has "McClulland and Stewart" as the publisher, so I can't be sure it's the same.
Never mind. The one you want is the 2003 Cormorant edition:
By far the most attractive edition ever published in this country, it has an Introduction by Norman Ravvin.
|With Norman Ravvin, Claire Holden Rothman and the Venerable Linda Borden Taylor|
The Writers' Chapel, Montreal, 11 October 2013
Credit: The image of the NCL "Gwenthalyn Graham" edition was lifted from the very fine Chumley and Pepys on Books blog.