THE VICIOUS CIRCLE, by Margaret Case Harriman; Al Hirschfeld - 1951


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The Vicious Circle: The Story of the Algonquin Round Table

by Margaret Case Harriman

illustrated by Al Hirschfeld

New York & Toronto: Rinehart & Co., Inc., 1951.

Hardback is overall in VERY GOOD+ condition with VERY GOOD DJ.

  • Volume features great DJ and a neat exterior, quarter-bound in red with gray covers and silver text on spine.
  • Book shows minor overall age and wear, and is remarkably well preserved.
  • Covers display slight bumping to head corners, as well as minimal edgewear.
  • Spine shows some softening and bumping to ends.
  • Binding is secure throughout.
  • Interior is well preserved with some toning.
  • Inside pages are mostly free of writing, with few scattered lines in the margins.
  • Textblock edges are partly deckled along fore and foot edges.
  • DJ looks great behind Mylar, and is backed with archival paper.
  • DJ is not price-clipped.
  • DJ displays gentle overall toning, as well as edgewear with chipping to corners, along edges, and most notably to spine ends with a chip going 0.5" into spine from foot, and chipping along head and foot edges on back, that leaves text unaffected. (See photos)
  • Book may exhibit additional minor signs of age or wear.
  • SC20191024

310 pages. 5.75 x 8.25 inches.

Features the illustrations of Al Hirschfeld. Includes an index and a table of contents.

This is the story of the society behind a significant part of New York City literature in the early 20th C. Told by the daughter of the hotelier who hosted their meetings and lunches, this is an exceptionally true and profound account of the extraordinary personalities that made up this unlikely circle. The author recounts with nostalgia and genuine feeling, all that was extraordinary and unique about each of the members, with anecdotes and narratives of eventful meetings and discussions. A treasure in the history of a great literary society.

The Algonquin Round Table was a group of New York writers, critics, wits, and actors who gathered for lunch each day at the Algonquin Hotel owned and managed by Frank Case. Initially brought together as part of a practical joke, dubbing themselves "The Vicious Circle", they kept meeting to discuss ideas, indulge in wordplay and witticisms, from 1919 to about 1929, eventually spreading far through the newspaper columns of Round Table members.  

Albert Hirschfeld (1903-2003) was an American caricaturist best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars.

AS IS! Please see photos. More photos available upon request.

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