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TWICE-TOLD TALES

TWICE-TOLD TALES

Hawthorne, Nathaniel [Hawthorne's second book] Boston: American Stationers Co. / John B. Russell, 1837. 4 pp preliminary ads plus 16 pp ads, all undated. Original grey-green coarse-ribbed morocco-grain cloth. First Edition of Hawthorne's second book -- and the first to bear his name on its title page. 1,000 copies were printed, priced at $1.00 each; Hawthorne realized a total of $100.00 from the profits, equivalent to ten cents per copy. His only preceding title was the anonymous FANSHAWE, published at his own expense in 1828 (three years after his graduation from Bowdoin College). That first effort went largely unnoticed but did catch the eye of Samuel Griswold Goodrich ("Peter Parley"), who invited Hawthorne to submit stories to appear in his annual gift-book, THE TOKEN. The 18 tales constituting the first edition of TWICE-TOLD TALES were collected from those "TOKEN appearances." These tales, which the author said had "the pale tint of flowers that blossomed in too retired a shade," deal with the themes of guilt and secrecy, and intellectual and moral pride, and show Hawthorne's constant preoccupation with the effects of Puritanism in New England. In imaginative, allegorical fashion, he depicts the dramatic results of a Puritanism that was at the roots of the culture he knew, recognizing its decadence in his own time. Among the tales, many of them marked by the author's interest in the supernatural, are sketches of New England history, like "The Gray Champion" . [and] "The May-Pole of Merry Mount"; stories of incident, like "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe"; and moral allegories, like "The Minister's Black Veil" [and] "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" [OCAL]. It was this first edition of TWICE-TOLD TALES that launched Hawthorne's literary career: for Goodrich he edited "The American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge" and also compiled PETER PARLEY'S UNIVERSAL HISTORY, and would soon begin writing children's tales. The second (1842) and subsequent editions of TWICE-TOLD TALES would consist of two volumes, since these 18 tales would be supplemented with 21 more. Copies of the first edition were bound in either of two types of cloth, which in turn were in three or four colors each (no priority) -- though always with the same gilt imprint on the spine. This copy is in grey-green coarse-ribbed morocco-grain cloth, and has, in addition to the four pages of preliminary ads, the 16-page ad catalogue at the rear; some copies have 8, 12 or 14-page ad catalogues instead -- again no known priority. Condition is, for an 1837 book in original cloth, near-fine: there is some very light wear at some of the edges, and the rear endpaper is cracking just a bit; as always for text paper of that era, the leaves show some foxing. Clark A2.1; Blanck 7581; a "Johnson High Spot" selection; Queen's Quorum page 10 (where both Edgar Allan Poe and Vincent Starrett are quoted in praise of "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe"). Housed in a cloth clamshell case. Provenance: according to a penciled note, this volume came from the library of Maude Merriman Huffman (DAR # 33989).
THE MAINE WOODS

THE MAINE WOODS

Thoreau, Henry D[avid] Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1864. 24 pp ads dated April 1864. Original green zigzag-grain cloth. First Edition of Thoreau's fourth book, which consisted of only 1450 copies (per Borst; Blanck says 1650). Thoreau's three earlier books had been A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS, WALDEN, and (after his death) EXCURSIONS. It contains three accounts of trips to Maine: "Ktaadn" (Union Magazine 1848), describing an excursion to Mt. Ktaadn [now Katahdin] in 1846; "Chesuncook" (Atlantic Monthly 1858), about a journey from Bangor to Chesuncook Lake in 1853, with an Indian guide Joe Aitteon; and "The Allegash and East Branch" (first appearance in print), concerned with an 1857 voyage with 'a relative' and the Indian guide Joe Polis. During this excursion, Thoreau made an extended study of Polis, "one of the aristocracy" of the Penobscot Indians, a silent, capable hunter and backwoodsman. [OCAL] The editor of these papers, though unnamed, was William Ellery Channing the younger. Borst lists a total of nine different bindings (differing only in cloth color and texture -- no priority), but this is actually a tenth: green "zigzag" (TZ) cloth. Included is the primary April 1864 ad catalogue; we have also had copies with no catalogue, or with a June one. Condition is near-fine, with scarcely any external wear; the spine gilt and the cover blind-stamping remain crisp and sharp. The only noteworthy flaw is some damage to the front free endpaper (including a small corner torn away). THE MAINE WOODS has become uncommon in this condition. Borst A4.1.a; Blanck 20113.
MY LADY LUDLOW

MY LADY LUDLOW, and Other Tales;

Gaskell, Mrs. [Elizabeth] included in "Round the Sofa." London: Sampson Low, Son and Co., 1861. 2 pp ads dated July 1861 (last leaf of final gathering). Original blind-stamped green cloth with spine decorated in gilt. First English Edition, so titled, of this collection of six short stories (the title one, at 164 pages, really being a novella). Most of these stories first appeared in periodicals such as "Household Words" during the late 1850s, and MY LADY LUDLOW was first published as a book in 1858 by Harper of New York. In 1859 Sampson Low collected the stories in an anonymous two-volume work titled ROUND THE SOFA, with interconnecting frames for each story, and in 1861 this title MY LADY LUDLOW was first issued, acknowledging "Mrs. Gaskell" as the author. In My Lady Ludlow, Elizabeth Gaskell depicts the waning of aristocratic power and the waxing of professional hegemony in Regency England. Gaskell's representation of the rising professional society is its openness to participation by women, by members of the working class, and by the illegitimately born. Before any of the feminist movements of the nineteenth century had coalesced, Gaskell's novel pointed to the egalitarian implications of professional ideals [Colon]. This copy does not have an ad catalogue in addition to the final one-page ad leaf (see Smith Note 3). This is a bright copy, just about fine (a little foxing on the first few leaves, but essentially no wear). Smith pp 138-142.
LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI

Twain, Mark With Over 300 Illustrations. London: Chatto & Windus, 1883. 32 pp ads dated December 1883. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in black. First Edition, which was published five days before the American one (and is considerably scarcer: although the number of English copies is not known, we would surmise that it might have been no more than one-tenth of the 50,000 American copies). LIFE ON THE MISSISSIPPI is really two books combined. The first twenty-one chapters are his early impressions of the great river., written [and serialized] in 1875 [and] here reprinted, with the balance of the book, chapter twenty-two to the end, being his [new] story of his trip down the river as an honored guest. [Johnson]. This copy has a December 1883 ad catalogue (the book was actually published in May of that year); Blanck notes that copies have ads dated as late as 1889, and in fact we have had a copy with ads dated July 1893. This is a near-fine copy of this handsomely-bound book: the spine is slightly darkened and there is foxing on the page edges, but there is very little external wear or soil and the gilt remains bright. The original rear paste-down has a flaw (one inch by two inches near the hinge) that could only have occurred during the initial binding-up. Blanck 3410; McBride p. 86 (rebound -- the Hartford collections do not include a copy in original cloth, which is why this title is not pictured with the other Chatto & Windus Twain bindings on p. 154); Johnson p. 43.
TALES OF SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS

TALES OF SOLDIERS AND CIVILIANS

Bierce, Ambrose San Francisco: E.L.G. Steele, 1891. Original grey cloth. First Edition of Bierce's best-known work, a collection of 19 intense supernatural tales. As Bierce points out in his dedicatory note, "Denied existence by the chief publishing houses of the country, this book owes itself to Mr. E.L.G. Steele, merchant, of this city." "These grim, vivid stories, reminiscent of Poe's tales of horror, are marked by an ingenious use of the surprise ending and a realistic study of tense emotional states" [OCAL]. Included are "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" ("a powerful story, brilliantly told"), "A Watcher by the Dead" ("one of the better tellings of the fraudulent confrontation followed by madness") and "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" ("probably one of the most influential stories in the history of supernatural fiction, this has set off a whole graveyard school of supernatural horror") [quotes from Bleiler]. This copy is bound in grey cloth; the book also was bound in brown or light green (no priority). It is in near-fine condition (spine lettering somewhat dull as usual, but essentially no wear). Blanck 1109; Bleiler 162; a Johnson High Spot (noting that "Owl Creek Bridge" "had the honor to be included in Carolyn Wells's collection (1923) of the ten best mystery tales of all time"). Provenance: endpaper ink-stamps of H[enry]. M. Landsberger -- a major mover and shaker of 1890-to-1920 San Francisco, head of Landsberger & Co., founded by his father Isidor who was big in early winemaking; the company occupied the Sheldon Building on First Street -- built in 1907 with new engineering, as it was the year after the earthquake.
THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

THE RETURN OF THE NATIVE

Hardy, Thomas In Three Volumes. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1878. 2 pp undated ads in Vol II. Original brown cloth decorated in black and gilt. First Edition, which consisted of only 1000 copies. This is Hardy's famous tale of Damon Wildeve of Egdon Heath and the two women who love him, Thomasin Yeobright and Eustacia Vye -- and the return of the native (Thomasin's cousin, Clym Yeobright) from his stint as a diamond merchant in Paris. The book was controversial upon publication, due to its frank treatment of sexuality (including an extramarital affair); present also is Hardy's usual mercilessness of the fates. "The twin triumphs of the book are Eustacia -- rebellious, passionate, longing for another sky and different air -- and Egdon Heath itself" [CGEL]. This is one of the 900 copies in the primary binding, with a blind-stamped two-rule border on the rear covers; Purdy cites a very similar secondary binding that has a three-rule border, used for 100 copies known to have been remaindered in 1882. This set is in very good-plus condition, perhaps near-fine -- still in the original cloth and endpapers, and without re-backing or any other sort of restoration. As usual there is minor wear at some of the notoriously-brittle spine ends, but the spine gilt remains bright, the covers are clean, and the delicate pale-yellow endpapers are remarkably intact (just one short crack at the top of one hinge); atypically, there is NO evidence of lending-library labels on the front covers. Copies in the original cloth in this condition are today rather scarce -- since most of the first edition went directly to the lending libraries and were then read to death. This is one of the four novels typically cited as constituting the peak of Hardy's oeuvre -- the others being THE MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD and TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES. Purdy pp 24-27; Sadleir 1113; Wolff 2989. Housed in a morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.
EXCURSIONS

EXCURSIONS

Thoreau, Henry D[avid] Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1863. 1 preliminary page undated ads. Original blind-stamped blue-green cloth with gilt-decorated spine. First Edition, which consisted of only 1558 copies. This posthumous collection of naturalist essays (including "A Winter Walk," "Autumnal Tints," "Night and Moonlight" and "Walking") was Thoreau's third book, preceded only by A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS (1849) and WALDEN (1854). When Thoreau died of tuberculosis in May 1862 (at the age of 44), nothing of his had been published during the eight years since WALDEN. The editor of this book was the author's sister Sophia Thoreau; the 26-page "Biographical Sketch" of Thoreau is by his friend and neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Included is an engraved frontispiece portrait of Thoreau -- the first publication of his likeness anywhere. This copy is in pebble-grain cloth; others are in triangular-grain cloth, or in cloth with a zigzag pattern (no priority; the gilt and blind-stamping on all three types of cloth is identical). This is a very good-plus copy (light shelf-wear at the spine edges); the spine gilt is less oxidized than usual, and thus quite legible. As always, in spite of the presence of the frontispiece tissue, the engraved portrait of Thoreau has offset onto the title page. Borst A3.1.a; Blanck 20111. Note: the front endpaper bears an original bookseller's mini-label of Dawson Bros. of Montreal, who would go on to be a major Canadian bookbinder and publisher: the presence of this booklabel indicates that some of the 1558 copies were shipped north to be a Canadian issue of the first edition.
FLOWER FABLES

FLOWER FABLES

Alcott, Louisa May [first book, written at age 16] Boston: George W, Briggs & Co., 1855. Original blind-stamped medium-brown cloth with front cover pictorial vignette in gilt. First Edition of Louisa May Alcott's first book, actually published at the end of 1854. Illustrated with a total of six plates (including frontispiece), this is a collection of eight fairy tales plus seven poems that she had written six years earlier (at the age of 16), to tell to her neighbor Ellen Emerson -- dedicatee of this book, and daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. 1600 copies were printed, and it sold quite well; the author received a lump sum of $32.00 for it -- considerably less than she was then earning (at age 22) as a schoolteacher or as a seamstress. Her next book (HOSPITAL SKETCHES) would not be published until 1863, during the Civil War when Alcott was a nurse at the Union Hospital in Georgetown DC; LITTLE WOMEN did not come along until 1868-1869. In the copy of FLOWER FABLES that the author presented to her mother, she wrote that she hoped . you will accept it with all its faults and look upon it merely as an earnest of what I may yet do; for with so much to cheer me on, I hope to pass in time from fairies and fables to men and realties [quoted in Worthington]. This copy is in medium-brown cloth, one of at least four colors used without priority. It is in very good-plus condition (some wear at the foot of the spine). We seldom see her first book in any better condition. Blanck 142. Provenance: early signature of "Edwin Snow | Yarmouth Port, Mass.", as well as some endpaper writing dated July 1865 by his [daughters?] Mabel, Amelia and Isabel.
McTEAGUE. A Story of San Francisco

McTEAGUE. A Story of San Francisco

Norris, Frank New York: Doubleday & McClure Co., 1899. 4 pp undated ads. Original red cloth decorated in white. First Edition (with the title page in a three-panel single line border, and with "moment." the last word on p. 106; copies of the revised second printing unfortunately get mistaken as first editions). This copy is in the third and usual state, with signature-25 in proper sequence (some copies got out with a binding error). Frank Norris's masterpiece is McTEAGUE. It is the most purely Zola-esque novel in English, with its cold, careful study of the growing devastation wrought by miserliness on the lives of the Polk Street dentist and his wife. As a motion picture, under the name of "Greed," it was almost equally effective, and gave Zasu Pitts almost her only opportunity as a tragedian. [K&H] Though the tale's end has been criticized as melodramatic, it is not easy to forget the final scene in which McTeague, fleeing after murdering his wife, stands handcuffed in Death Valley to the pursuer whom he has just killed -- awaiting starvation. McTEAGUE was bound in red cloth that unfortunately was stamped in white pigment rather than gilt. This white pigment has proven, over the past century, to flake away notoriously: many copies now are missing much of this stamping, and many have spines that have become totally illegible. This copy is an unusual survivor, with all of the white pigment present; the volume is near-fine (spine slightly faded as usual, front endpaper just cracking). Housed in an open-back slipcase. Blanck 15031; McElrath A3.1.a.1; Zamarano 58; a Johnson High Spot.
THE JUNGLE BOOK

THE JUNGLE BOOK

Kipling, Rudyard Decorated by J. Lockwood Kipling, C.I.E. New York: The Century Co., 1894. Original olive green cloth decorated in gilt. First American Edition, published in the same year as the English edition. Many of the illustrations are by John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard's father. This book and THE SECOND JUNGLE BOOK, along with JUST SO STORIES, constitute Kipling's best-loved work: For there is a unique magic in the JUNGLE BOOKs from the moment the infant Mowgli enters the wolf's lair, and the moonlight is blacked out at the mouth of the cave by the great head of the tiger Shere Khan, and his roar fills it with thunder. There is magic too in the jungle, so glowingly portrayed, with its danger-haunted thickets, and the monkeys threading its frail liana ways, the enchanted land of which Mowgli is to become the master; and in the animals who are his friends and mentors -- Bagheera, the sleek and terrible panther; Baloo, the wise old bear; Hathi, the elephant; Kaa, the gigantic python who makes a nest for Mowgli in his coils; Akela, the leader of the wolf-pack; and the bandarlog, chattering outcasts of the tree tops, whose only wish is to be noticed, and who immediately abandon every task they have begun. [Birkenhead] This volume is very good-to-near-fine (cover gilt a little less than bright, a few foxing spots at the bottom of the rear cover); at an early stage the original endpapers were covered with matching ones. Richards A77; Stewart 124.