LiveAuctionTalk.com Spotlights Zane Grey’s Writing at Auction Rosemary McKittrick’s weekly column offers a motherload of information about the world of art, antiques and collectibles. Visit the site and sign up for a free subscription.
News-Antique.com - Nov 20,2007 - Santa Fe, Nov. 20, 2007-- Zane Grey’s writing career really began with backcountry trips to the Grand Canyon in the early-1900s. Through countless novels, he would use the Arizona landscape as a backdrop through which his Old West adventure tales unfolded.
With a trusted outfitter and a Native American guide pioneering the trail, Grey hiked through a maze of canyons and rugged lands in Northern Arizona. He ended up at a remote natural arch first seen by whites only a few years earlier.
In many ways, that arch, the “Rainbow Bridge” was Grey’s opening. It connected him to a world of adventure, romance and spiritual renewal. He used the connection in writing his make-believe books about the Old West.
In the end the Ohio dentist turned writer would play a huge part in shaping the “legend”. From long cattle drives and dog-tired settlers to ice-caped mountain peaks and inhospitable desert landscapes, Grey made it all seem real for readers. A mix of fable and reality.
Dismissed by some critics for being over-the-top in his writing, readers couldn’t get enough. He sold millions of books and was one of the few writers who got rich in his lifetime.
In all Grey wrote 85 books and 56 were about the West. To say he was popular is an understatement. During his lifetime his books “Wanderer of the Wasteland,” “West of the Pecos” and “To the Last Man” outsold all other texts except for the Bible and McGuffey’s readers.
“We all have in our hearts the kingdom of adventure,” he said. “Somewhere in the depths of every soul is the inheritance of the primitive. I speak to that.”
On Aug. 23, PBA Galleries, San Francisco, featured a selection of Zane Grey material in its Science Fiction-Detective Fiction-Western Fiction & Miscellaneous Literature auction.
A first edition copy of his book; The Bonefish Brigade; signed to a good friend, and privately printed in 1922 sold for $2,588.
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