Jul 15, 2021 - Sale 2576

Sale 2576 - Lot 59

Price Realized: $ 8,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 2,000
Farro, Sarah E. (b. 1859)
True Love, a Story of English Domestic Life.

Chicago: Donohue & Henneberry, [1891].

Presumed first and possibly only edition, octavo, 121 pages; printed on pulpy paper, rendered somewhat brittle and delicate by the passage of time, bound in publisher's brick red cloth, title in gilt on front board and spine, (worn, inner joints cracked, front and rear flyleaves detached), 7 1/2 x 5 in.

Farro was born in Illinois after her parents migrated north to Chicago from the South. She was recognized as a Black novelist during her lifetime. An 1892 newspaper article on True Love and its author praises her as "the first colored woman who has ever produced and published a novel." Details in this short newspaper notice line up neatly with Chicago census data from 1880. (The Morning Democrat, Davenport, IA 17 July 1892.) Farro's novel was one of fifty-eight books exhibited by Illinois women writers at the World's Fair in 1893. Even so, the book is rare in libraries and non-existent in the auction record. For more, please see: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/sarah-e-farro-african-american-novel-19th-century-why-forgotten-a7057966.html