New York: Harper & Brothers, 1903.
First Edition. Hardcover. 8 1/2" X 5 1/2". iii, 251pp. Signed publisher's binding by Decorative Designers. Purple cloth over boards, with hyacinths stamped in white, green, and gilt to upper board and upper board and spine lettered in gilt. Moderate wear to binding, with edgewear to extremities, a touch of fraying to head of spine, and lean to spine. A hint of webbing visible at gutter of some pages. Binding remains sound. Previous owner's name pencilled to flyleaf. Pages are clean and unmarked. Born to a British father and Chinese mother, Winnifred Eaton (and her sister Maude) are widely considered to be the first Asian American novelists. Winnifred wrote wildly successful, if formulaic, romance novels with Japanese themes. She wrote under the vaguely Japanese sounding pseudonym Onoto Watanna in an effort to hide her true Chinese heritage during a period of fervent anti-Chinese sentiment in the United States. Her older sister, Edith, however, published (with much less commercial success) both journalism and fiction directly addressing the struggle of Chinese-Americans at the time. Winnifred, who also did some screenwriting and work as an editor at Universal in the 1920s, has a fascinating entry in the Women Film Pioneers Project that further explores her unique and complicated life story. This attractive first printing of her third novel, The Heart of Hyacinth, demonstrates the "orientalized" cover design and typefaces typical of all her early novels. This beautiful publisher’s binding was created by the Decorative Designers. Decorated on every page, it also features 4 tissue protected full page color illustrated plates. Good +. Item #4113