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The Complete Works of O'Henry: The Definitive Collection of America's Master of the Short Story,
Volume One and Two - A Complete Set
Foreword By Harry Hansen
Published by Doubleday & Company Inc, Garden City, New York, USA (1953)
Hardcover Books with Original Dust Jacket
Measures 8.5 x 6 inches and Weighs 2 pound each (4 pounds 2 ounces total)

Condition: Good.
DJ's are a bit sunned at spine, edges show wear, tears, creasing, dust and blemishes. All what you'd expect from a vintage book set. The jacket design being so depictive of the era it will still display nicely.
Gray Boards with orange spine cloth, also show age, speckled but it's not dirt or soil... perhaps a paper or some such. Bright yellow endpapers and clean clear crisp text to each page - these books were absolutely brilliant when they were new - they still hold the air of regal lineage. Volume II has minor dampstain at endpapers, is NOT musty or moldy (I am highly allergic and would know immediately - it's just a very very light stain, nothing to be concerned about)
Pages are clean.

One day when the century was young O. Henry was dining with several
friends at Mouquin's, a New York restaurant favored by theatrical and
writing folk. Will Irwin was there, a tall, lean reporter for the New York
Sun, and Irvin S. Cobb, who had come East from Paducah a few years
before and had just moved from the Sun to the payroll of the New York
World. Eager to learn how O. Henry wrote, Cobb—who told me this
anecdote—began asking him where he found his plots. "Oh, everywhere,"
replied O. Henry. "There are stories in everything." He picked up the
bill of fare, on which the dishes of the day were typewritten. "There's a
story in this," he said. And then hea outlined substantially the tale called
"Springtime a la Carte."
That was O. Henry's way, to seize on something commonplace part
of the routine of living, and associate it with one of his favorite subjects
the experience of two lovers, kept apart in the maze of a great city, united

by a providential accident—and a trick of storytelling. It is not one 0f
O. Henry's best; it puts a strain on one's willingness to accept coincidence
but it contains the longing and expectant hope and victory over frustra'
tion that endeared his stories to the thousands who have found them
moving, entertaining, and memorable. O. Henry is a master of make-
believe, who puts a romantic glow over everyday living. By drawing
characters who are wistful when lucky and brave in adversity, he answers
the eternal demand for a good story.
When O. Henry died in 1910 at the age of forty-seven his friends-
editors who had bought his stories, reporters who had shared his walks
in mean streets—pieced together the fragmentary record of his experiences
and tried to find an explanation for his contradictory character. His cour­
tesy and resignation had touched their hearts; they remembered how he
alternated between procrastination and fits of feverish industry, and how
he had literally burnt himself out meeting his obligations close to maga­
zine deadlines. They found that experience had shaped all his writings,
had supplied the settings for his stories and the dominant note that
man was a plaything of fate, the victim of strange circumstances. They
also learned that a man whose nature was easygoing, if not slipshod, had
fought manfully to establish himself as a writer after the most tragic
personal experiences.
O. Henry was born William Sidney Porter, in Greensboro, North Caro­
lina, September 11, 1862, and in later life signed himself Sydney Porter.
His education stopped at fifteen, but his aunt, who had a private school,
stimulated his reading and storytelling. Bill Porter worked five years in
his uncle's drugstore—since advertised locally as the O. Henry Drug
Store. Bill's mother had died of tuberculosis when he was three, and he
was a pale, anemic lad when he was taken to a sheep ranch in Texas.
There he became acquainted with cowboys and heard about desperadoes
and cattle thieves. Two years later, in 1884, he went to Austin, where he
worked in a real estate office, sang in a church choir, and for four years
was occupied as a draftsman in the General Land Office. He liked to
draw and his associates thought Bill Porter had the makings of a cari­
In Austin tragedy struck, and struck repeatedly. Porter married a young
woman whose parents had died of tuberculosis, and who was to meet
the same fate a number of years later. Their first-born died, but their
second child, Margaret, grew to maturity and survived her father. Porter s
attempt to build up a small humorous weekly failed. He obtained a job
as a teller in a bank, which his biographers, Robert H. Davis and Arthur
B. Maurice, who wrote The Caliph of Bagdad, called "an astonishing
bank, run with astonishing laxity." When irregularities were found in
Porter's accounts, a shortage of less than a thousand dollars, he lost his
job with the bank and went to Houston, where he worked for a time

The Complete Works of O.Henry, Volumes I & 2 Complete Set 1953 Doubleday Fiction Book Short Story Harry Hansen Hardcover Humor Irony Tragedy


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