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805002

William J. Mayo

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William James Mayo, 18611939.  American physician; co-founder of the Mayo Clinic.  Book boldly inscribed and signed To my friend Mr. Middlebrook a book which goes to prove that fiction is stranger than truth / W. J. Mayo and dated by Mayo Sept. 15 / 31. 

This is a copy of The Wings of the Morning, an historical novel by Louis Tracy.  Mayo has inscribed and signed the book to William T. Middlebrook, who served as Comptroller and secretary of the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota from 1925 to 1943 and  then as Vice President for Business Administration until he retired in 1959.  Middlebrook Hall, the largest residence hall at the University of Minnesota, is named in his honor.

This book is a 1903 reprint by Grosset & Dunlap of this book, which was originally published the same year.  It is about Iris Deane, rich girl, who was shipwrecked in the China Seas with Robert Jenks, a steward and common seaman who turns out to be, in reality, a former officer named Arbuthnot.  They are marooned on an island and later take refuge on a cliff when they are attacked by Dyak headhunters.  Of course, they fall in love.  This was a very popular book in its day.

Mayo has boldly inscribed and signed this book in pencil on the flyleaf.  The book is worn, the spine is a little loose, and one page is detached.  The inscription and signature, though, are beautiful. 

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