Signed book: The New Chardenal Complete French Course. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1929. Hardcover, 5.25 x 7.5, 450 pages, with a handsome custom-made clamshell book box. Signed in blue ink on the first free end page, “Joe Kennedy,” and “Jack Kennedy, Choate House, Room 101, Choate, Wallingford Conn.” The book is also heavily annotated in pencil throughout by Kennedy, who also adds several different variations of his signature, including, “John F. Kennedy“ (24 times), “Kennedy, John F.” (16 times), “J. Kennedy” (3 times), “John Francis Kennedy” (once), “Kennedy” (4 times), “John Francis Fitzgerald Kennedy” (one time). One of the signatures in incorporated into his complete address, “Kennedy, John F., 2921 Pondfield Rd., Bronxville, N. Y.” Kennedy has drawn a face in the arch of a photo of La Porte St. Denis a Paris, and tracing an image of Le Pantheon a Paris on the opposite page. Autographic condition: paperclip impressions over portion of both signatures, uniform toning to signed page, multiple pencil notations to signed page, as well as some adhesive remnants along left edge, small portion of “Wallingford” traced over in Book condition: G-/None. Brown cloth-covered boards; heavy wear to edges, with chips/tears in cloth (mostly at corners and spine-ends); spine sunned; hinges cracked; first and last few pages are detached; heavy marking throughout; soiled and slightly yellowed.
Beginning the ninth grade at Choate in 1931, JFK finally began to make his way out from his athletic and popular big brother Joe’s shadow. Making a name for himself in large part by building his reputation as a talented prankster, he was remembered for such classics as exploding a toilet seat with a firecracker—and turning the headmaster’s scornful designation of ‘mucker’ into a title of pride, forming the ‘Muckers’ Club’ with his friends and partners-in-crime. While his academic record was unimpressive and his health was often precarious, he quickly became one of the most popular students, playing football, basketball, and baseball, serving as the business manager of his senior yearbook, and earning the distinction of ‘most likely to succeed.’ At Choate, he developed the characteristics that helped him become a charismatic politician in later years: a sense of humor and a charming way with words, an interest in politics and history, a strong connection to his peers, and resiliency in the face of his own suffering. Also signed by Joe, Jr., whose signature is extraordinarily difficult to obtain due to his unfortunate early death in World War II, this book captures a crucial time in the young Kennedys’ lives, as JFK began to find his footing. RR Auction COA.
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