University of Virginia Library



The booklet itself consists of front and back boards, covered in colored paper, with a blank sheet pasted down to the interior surface of each board. In addition, the front cover carries a paste-on paper label bearing in black ink Faulkner's hand-printed title, THE WISHING-TREE. The pages themselves, measuring evenly with the boards, 5½ by 6¾ inches, consist of a free-front endpaper with blank recto and verso, title page [i], verso of title page noting date, place and number of copies [ii], dedication page [iii], blank verso of dedication page [iv], pages "1-67," ["68"] running in correct paginated sequence the typed text, a blank facer to the last page of text ["69"], and a blank verso ["70"]. This gift booklet was placed on temporary deposit at the Alderman Library of the University of Virginia by Mrs. Victoria Fielden, its owner and copyright holder, and has been maintained there under that status at the expressed consent of Mrs. Fielden's daughter, Victoria F. Johnson, the legal holder of the copyright. I am indebted and grateful to Mrs. Johnson for allowing me the privilege of reprinting here for the first time this unexpurgated text of The Wishing Tree, and also for scrutinizing this Introduction and providing the following crucial revisionary factual information which I have excerpted from her June 30, 1984, letter to me and incorporated into this article: "My mother's name was Victoria de Graffenried Franklin, not Melvina V.! . . . She was born on Feb. 5, not Feb. 8." In addition, I wish to express my gratitude to Professor Robert W. Hamblin, who read the introduction to this article and provided several major insights which I have incorporated into my fundamental thesis. Finally, to Fredson Bowers, I am immeasurably indebted for his editorial tutelage and concern for the presentation of this material.


The Wishing Tree. New York: Random House, [April 11] 1967. Illustrations by Don Bolognese. The limited and trade copies of this book are from the same printing.


This information has been gleaned from the Application for Copyright Registration for a Nondramatic Literary Work, Form TX, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress, "Jan. 1980."


This carbon, typed manuscript of 47 pages is located at the University of Virginia, Alderman Library, and carries the accession number 9821. The typed page numbers run: "1-37," "39" ("38" has been entered in ink above the typed designation "39"), "39-47." The text is sequential and unbroken throughout. For the listing of this accession number and verification of the textual sequence and pagination, as well as for the information relevant to all referred to holdings at the University of Virginia, Alderman Library, I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Edmund Berkeley, Jr., Curator of Manuscripts.


For this information, I am indebted to Professor James W. Silver, who, having had made available to him during the 1950's the diary of Calvin S. Brown, recorded this data from Dr. Brown's entry of February 11, 1927, on the cover sheet of a typescript he had had copied from the "Brown" typescript of The Wishing-Tree. Dr. Silver's copy resides in the Brodsky Collection.


See Louis Daniel Brodsky and Robert W. Hamblin, Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume I: The Biobibliography (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982), item 644.


Ibid., item 663. I wish to extend my ongoing appreciation to Jill Faulkner Summers for consenting to let me make available to scholarship the text of this particular manuscript as well as all items in my Faulkner collection through publication of the Comprehensive Guide and, by extension, intervening scholarly publications that call attention to and which will subsequently be contained in the multi-volume Guide.


This carbon, typed manuscript of 44 consecutively numbered pages is located at the University of Virginia, Alderman Library, and carries the accession number 10,124-a.


Appearing on page [iii] of the "Victoria" typed booklet, this 5-line epigram which follows is introduced by the second of two dedications: To Victoria / ".......I have seen music, heard / Grave and windless bells; mine air / Hath verities of vernal leaf and bird. / Ah, let this fade; it doth and must; nor grieve, / Dream ever, thou; she ever young and fair." Except for a variation in the number of dots that follow the initial quotation marks (12 in the "Brown" version; 7 in the "Victoria" version), and in the "Victoria" version the substitution of a period at the end of line 3 for four dashes at the end of the same line in the "Brown" text, the first four lines are identical. Only the fifth, final lines are at variance. The last line of the "Brown" version reads: "Wish ever, thou; nor gain, but find it fair."


See Brodsky and Hamblin, Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume I: The Biobibliography, item 1344; Princeton University Library Chronicle, 18 (Spring 1957).


See Louis Daniel Brodsky and Robert W. Hamblin, Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, Volume II: The Letters (1984), item 1412k.


Ibid., item 1412i. Faulkner's response to Bennett Cerf has been excerpted from a letter Cerf sent to James W. Silver on November 17, 1959, in which Cerf included Faulkner's negative response to his publisher's inquiry regarding potential publication of the "Brown" copy of The Wishing-Tree.


Ibid., item 1526a.


The 47-page ribbon typescript is located at the University of Virginia, Alderman Library, and carries the accession number 6074, item II:8.a. This typescript is identical to the carbon typescript Faulkner gave Margaret Brown in its pagination; like the latter, it carries numerous minor holographic ink corrections, though not all of the "Brown" version corrections. A second manifold carbon copy of this typescript ("Brown" version ribbon copy) is located at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin. It differs from the "Brown" 47-page ribbon and first carbon copies only to the extent that it exhibits no holographic corrections at all, and lacks pages "26," "27," and "37." In addition, in an unidentified hand (not Faulkner's), in pencil, there is a note at the top of page "1" which states: "Incomplete copy. Some pages omitted." For all information relative to this typescript, I am owing to the kind assistance of Cathy Henderson, Research Librarian, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.


Both ribbon and carbon copies of this 43-page typed manuscript are located at the University of Virginia, Alderman Library, and carry the accession numbers 6074-a, item IIB:8.b, and 6074-a, item IIB:8.b, respectively. On the ribbon copy, the pagination runs as follows: "1-23," "26" (the unit "6" has been written over in ink with the unit numeral "4," changing the number from "26" to "24."), (at this point, a break in the text occurs which corresponds to the text of "Brown" page "27"), "26-43." Although pages "26-43" are paginated sequentially, there is another text break, this one coming between pages "40" and "41," which corresponds textually to "Brown" page "44." The carbon copy is identical, except that page "10" is completely lacking; its carbon impression accidentally ended up on the verso of ribbon page "10."


The one exception relates to the vestigial paper label affixed to the cover: it presents a real enigma, in that its hand-lettered appearance more closely resembles the artistic lettering in india ink, with its characteristic reversed "S" letters, of The Marionettes (1920) and "The Lilacs" (1920) hand-made and hand-lettered booklets, than it does to his script dating from the mid-Twenties. Notwithstanding, Faulkner's typed title page, proclaiming in upper-case letters its unhyphenated title, and every subsequent reference to the "Wishing Tree" in the text, appear without a hyphen.


For an in-depth study of Faulkner's literary methods of revisionary refinement, see Louis Daniel Brodsky, "The Textual Development of William Faulkner's 'Wash': An Examination of Manuscripts in the Brodsky Collection." Studies in Bibliography, 37 (1984), 248-281.


The following brief collation keys the edited words that appeared in the Random House edition of The Wishing Tree to the words they replaced in the original "Victoria" typescript. To the left of the dividing half-bracket, by page and line (counting from the top) are the Random House corrections; to the right of the bracket appear the "Victoria" version words: p. 47-18: faraway] far away; p. 50-13: mantelpiece] mantel piece; p. 51-1: leapt] lept; p. 51-20: shone] shown; p. 69-18: gray] white; p. 70-16, 19, 20: ice cream] icecream; p. 70-18: gray] white; p. 71-12: ninetytwo] ninety two; p. 72-9: pockets] pocket; p. 81-13: were] are; p. [82]-5: are] were.


The following brief collation keys the altered or omitted words that appeared in the Random House edition of The Wishing Tree on the left of the dividing half-bracket to those which appeared in the "Victoria" typescript on the right side of the bracket. Reference to the Random House alterations is by page and line number, counting from the top, of the 1967 published text: p. 7-5: afterward] after; p. 29-1: hers] her's; p. 32-17: around] about; p. 32-2: Something] something: p. 42-5: "You..."] "You black nigger,"; p. 44-18: behime that tree."] behime that tree, nigger man."; p. 57-7: They all looked at] They looked at; p. 58-2: saw."] seen."


It should be pointed out that virtually this entire line of dialogue and the line immediately preceding it were accidentally reversed when Faulkner's eye skipped a line in recopying the "Brown" typescript, picked up and substituted from the line below the name "Dicky" for "George" along with his concluding speech. Faulkner failed to recognize and/or correct both the reversal of contextually logical sentence sequence and the misappropriation of the speaker's name in the second of the two lines. In "Brown", the lines read:

"Mine! Mine!" George shouted. "First choice: I claim first choice!"
"My pony! My pony!" Dicky shouted. "My first choss pony!"
In "Stone", the lines read:
"Mine! Mine!" Dicky shouted. "My first choss pony!"
"My pony! My pony!" Dicky shouted. "First choice: I claim first choice!"