The Ballad of the Brown Girl. By Countee Cullen. Illustrated by Charles Cullen. First Edition, First Printing. Harper & Bros. New York, 1927.

$90.00

Countee Cullen moved to Harlem as a young child and quickly thrived in the community’s burgeoning intellectual scene. In the 1920s, he studied English at New York University and Harvard. He also published landmark works of poetry, including Color, Copper Sun, and The Black Christ. These works established Cullen as one of the most important figures of the Harlem Renaissance. He was greatly admired by friends and fellow artists Alain Locke, Duke Ellington, and Langston Hughes. Cullen’s poetry showcases a brilliant command of line and stanza, combining old traditions, Black themes, and Modernist imagery and style into some of the best poetry by any American author. In The Ballad of the Brown Girl, Cullen applies the structure of the medieval ballad to a narrative about a king who must choose between two potential brides: one Black and one white. Cullen wrote the poem several years earlier than this first book-form publication and won some of his earliest prizes for it. It is subsequently an example of his earliest poetic achievements, one that shows his incredible promise. Alongside the poem is an Art Deco-style illustration as well as decorative framings by Charles Cullen. He illustrated a number of Countee Cullen’s books as well as several others from the era. Their shared surname is pure coincidence. Little is known of Charles Cullen–a shame, because his illustrations are some of the best from the period.

This first edition, first printing is in fine condition. In the original faux leather spine with paper covered boards, fine. Faux leather corners. Spine label pasted down. Text block fine. Unopened. Text wonderfully framed and decorated by Charles Cullen. With the original slipcase, poor with tears, missing parts to top and bottom edges, chipping, and rubbing.

A first edition of The Ballad of the Brown Girl.

1 in stock

Description

The Ballad of the Brown Girl. By Countee Cullen. Illustrated by Charles Cullen. First Edition, First Printing. Harper & Bros. New York, 1927.

Additional Information provides shipping weight and dimensions.

Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 4 in