Armstrong, Margaret. Hard Cover. New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1906. First Edition. Near Fine.
. First edition, first printing. Publisher's decorative lavender cloth, with intricate gilt design by Margaret Armstrong of a spiderweb on a leafy branch, lettered in gilt framed by a white banner-style backdrop, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed, with publisher's advertisement laid in. A near fine copy with light rubbing to extremities, contemporary ownership signature to front free endpaper, bookseller's sticker to front pastedown, some offsetting to rear pastedown. An old-fashioned love story, A Spinner in the Sun tells of a solitary, veiled woman who moves into a long-abandoned house and contemplates suicide by laudanum. In the middle of a small town rife with gossip, she struggles to maintain her secretive air and must learn how to move on from her mysterious past. Reed is well-known for her turn-of-the-century romance novels; A Spinner in the Sun is a perfect example of this genre, in which drama unfolds between noble men and demure women. Interestingly, after an eventful life in the public eye, Reed died of suicide by sleeping powder, citing marital problems in a note left to her maid. Margaret Armstrong (1867-1944) was a renowned artist and designer. Along with her contemporary Sarah Wyman Whitman (1824-1904), Armstrong is an example of how the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements at the time provided new opportunities for women's employment in the arts. After beginning her career with A. C. McClurg, Armstrong worked primarily for Scribner's and specifically focused on the works of a few authors. Armstrong's style, which was influenced by the floral patterns of Art Nouveau and the lines and shapes that are characteristic of the Arts and Crafts movement, made her bindings distinct, which was useful in terms of advertisement and branding an author's works as a unique set.