New York: Harper & Brothers, 1865. 2 pp undated ads. Original purple cloth. First Complete American Edition. Harper paid for the advance rights to issue OUR MUTUAL FRIEND serially in Harper's New Monthly Magazine, and then issued it in several book forms. One format was in two wrappered volumes, beginning with Part I on 2 February 1865. Then on 11 November 1865, Harper issued both part II of that format (at 50¢) , AND the entire book either in cloth (as here, at $1.50) or in wrappers (at $1.00). All of these formats include 34 of the 40 illustrations that has appeared in the UK. This more or less mirrored when the two volumes were being issued in England. Meanwhile John Bradburn of New York, "borrowing" from Harper's serialization, was issuing the book in four volumes (after aborting his effort to do it in monthly numbers); Bradburn's first volume came out in October 1864, constituting the first appearance of any part of the novel in book form on either side of the Atlantic (and likewise Bradburn's Vol III was the first such appearance of that segment of the novel). Bradburn did not publish Vol IV until December 1865, though -- after this Harper edition -- so Harper's qualifies as the first edition of the entire novel to be published. This copy is in purple honeycomb-grain cloth, the primary binding cited by Smith (there were five or more cloth variants, used without priority). Condition is very good-plus (spine sunned as always with purple cloth, very minor wear at the extremities). Smith pp 387-392; Gimbel A151; Wilkins p. 32.
Doyle, A. Conan
[first tales in UK book form] [Together, three volumes.] London: George Redway, n.d. [1887 / 1888]. Original blue-grey cloth pictorially decorated in red and lettered in red and gilt. First Edition, second (separately published) issue -- of the supernatural anthology containing six stories that "are the first by Conan Doyle to appear in book form in England." It was initially published by Redway as a three-decker (price 31/6) in October 1887, with the first copies bound (in red cloth) as Vols I-II-III of DREAMLAND AND GHOSTLAND: An Original Collection of Tales and Warnings from the Borderland of Substance and Shadow. It did not sell well as an expensive three-volume work, so in November 1888, Redway bound up additional sheets of the first edition as these three separately-titled (and separately-sold, at 6/-) volumes -- in blue-grey cloth pictorially decorated in red. The Preface (which mentions Doyle, plus one of his tales albeit mis-spelled) is retained. (There was later a third binding-up of light blue crackle-grain cloth lettered in gilt on the spines, with the Preface -- referring to "these volumes" -- properly removed.) The first volume contains no Doyle contribution; the second contains his "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement"; and the third contains his "The Great Keinplatz Experiment," "Selecting a Ghost: The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange," "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley," "The Captain of the Pole-Star" and "John Barrington Cowles." Though NOT identified as being by Doyle in these volumes, these six tales are Doyle's first to appear in book form in England. (His first appearance anywhere was "Bones" in the four-volume TALES FROM MANY SOURCES published in New York by Dodd Mead in 1885.) These volumes are in very good-plus condition, with very little actual wear (one nick in a spine-head, some of the original endpapers very slightly cracked); there is some general cover soil, and the spine gilt is less than bright. That said, this is a very uncommon edition, and these separately-sold titles are especially scarce as a complete set; furthermore, of the three binding states, these second-issue ones are the only ones to be properly-creepy pictorial. Green & Gibson C80; Sadleir (XIX) 741 (first issue in red cloth binding); see Muir Points: 2nd Series pp 104-105 and frontispiece plate. Housed in a clamshell case with leather labels, with three paperboard chemises within.
Maugham, W. Somerset
London: William Heinemann, (1931). Original blue cloth, with dust jacket. First English Edition (published a month after the American one) of this collection of six tales. They were set in England and on the Continent. Maugham meant to show that his countrymen could misbehave at home just as well as in the tropics. In "Virtue" a middle-aged woman leaves her husband for a younger man because she thinks it is the honest thing to do. Her husband then kills himself, and the lover deserts her. Maugham had made the point before that a virtue taken to an extreme leads to disaster. If she had had an affair with the younger man, things would have been all right [Morgan]. This volume is bright and fine (a small crease in the spine). The dust jacket, with P. Youngman Carter's illustration of a gentleman leaning against a giant letter "I" (on both the front cover and the spine), is near-fine -- spine slightly browned as usual, one short closed tear, the slightest of wear at the head of the spine (typical since the jacket is taller than the book), and one little ink-droplet on the front panel. Toole Stott A42b.
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Second Edition. London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1879. 1 page preliminary undated ads. Original green-blue cloth pictorially decorated in gilt, beveled. First Edition, second printing, of Stevenson's third book, following AN INLAND VOYAGE and EDINBURGH PICTURESQUE NOTES; like the former two, this is something of a travelogue, describing his 1878 walking tour in the Cevennes region of southern France. Stevenson took this trip just after the woman he loved (and eventually would marry) left the Continent with her two children to rejoin her husband in San Francisco. For this trip the forlorn Stevenson collaborated with another female, named Modestine -- a donkey. As with AN INLAND VOYAGE, included is a frontispiece by Walter Crane. This second printing reads "Second Edition" both at the foot of the spine and on the title page; otherwise it is essentially the same as the first (which consisted of only 750 copies). There was also a third printing, still reading "Second Edition" on its title page, in a modified binding. This is a bright, near-fine copy -- with very minor rubbing at the extremities, a little faint speckling of the cloth, and slight cracking of the rear endpaper; the volume remains tight even though it was part of the brief ill-fated experiment of binding with staples rather than with string. Beinecke 38; see Prideaux p. 8 (a different binding); not cited in Princeton 8.
With Illustrations by I.W. Taber. London: Macmillan and Co., 1897. 2 pp undated ads. Original blue cloth pictorially decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt. First English Edition, published about a month after the American. This is Kipling's great novel about the cod fishing fleet of Gloucester Massachusetts, written while the newlywed Kiplings lived in Vermont. Kipling freely acknowledged that the book owed much to Dr. James Conland of Brattleboro, who brought the Kiplings' elder daughter into the world -- for Conland had been a member of the Massachusetts fishing fleet, and it was he who took Kipling to explore the wharves and quays of Boston and Gloucester. (The American edition, in fact, is dedicated to Conland; this English edition bears no dedication.) This is the only book of Kipling's which is set entirely in America. All the characters are American. Not only that, but the heart of the book -- its moral in a single sentence -- is one of Kipling's main beliefs of this period expressed in terms essentially American, or perhaps more particularly New England. He put it later in verse: ".If you don't work you will die!" It is a saga of hard physical work in conflict with natural forces. It is a book which could hardly have been written by anyone who did not admire Huckleberry Finn; it is a book whose claim to survival rests mainly on detail, and it is all American detail. [Mason] CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS was the fourth and last volume to be bound in Macmillan's attractive gift binding style used for the JUNGLE BOOKs in 1894-1895 and for SOLDIER TALES in 1896. In 1937, forty years after publication, this tale was made into a film starring Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy (who won an Oscar), Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney. This is a bright, near-fine copy (spine slightly darkened, very slight rubbing at the extremities, occasional light foxing); the original black-coated endpapers are not cracked. Richards A103; Stewart 163.
Boston: Thayer and Eldridge, Year 85 of the States (1860-61) [actually May 1860]. Original blind-stamped orange-brown cloth, beveled. Third Edition, first impression -- greatly expanded from the two earlier editions (both of which had been self-published). The first edition (Brooklyn 1855) had consisted of only 12 poems; the second (Brooklyn 1856) just 32. This third edition, by a legitimate (if financially shaky) publisher, contains about 156 poems pending upon how they are counted) -- one of the greatest augmentations of LEAVES OF GRASS during its 37-year growth from 1855 to the "deathbed edition" of 1892; with this edition Whitman also began his technique of grouping his poems into "clusters." Among the poems new to this edition are "Starting from Paumanok," "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking," and the entire sections "Calamus" and "Enfans d'Adam." The latter includes some of Whitman's then-controversial thoughts on sex, such as A woman waits for me -- she contains all, nothing is lacking, Yet all were lacking, if sex were lacking, or if the moisture of the right man were lacking. This is a copy from the first impression, which consisted of 1000 copies issued in May 1860. This printing is identifiable by the copyright page imprints of both "The Boston Stereotype Foundry" and "George C. Rand & Avery." (There was a second printing issued just six weeks after the first, without those imprints; seven months thereafter, in January 1861, the publisher went bankrupt. In 1879, publisher Richard Worthington bought the third edition plates; he offered Whitman $250 to authenticate another edition and add a few more poems, but Whitman indignantly refused, so during the 1880s Worthington went ahead and issued several unauthorized printings of the 1860-61 edition.) This copy has the first state of the frontispiece portrait, against a tan background with the engraver's name simply "Schoff." The binding is Blanck's "binding B" (and Myerson's "binding C"), orange-brown zigzag-grain cloth with the globe and sunrise vignettes on the covers (no precedence among the various bindings has been established). This is a very good-plus copy, with shallow erosion of the top of the spine (and a little at the bottom), and minor darkening of the spine; a few gatherings stand slightly proud, and there is some foxing solely on the frontispiece plate; the original grey endpapers remain intact, despite the considerable heft of this 456-page volume. A nice copy of the first edition of LEAVES OF GRASS costs somewhere in the range of $75,000 - $125,000, and the second about $15,000 - $20,000 -- so the third is the earliest edition that is within reach of most collectors. Myerson A2.3.a1; Blanck 21397.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1879 (Vol I) and Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1880 (Vol II). Original full brown morocco elaborately stamped in black, front covers with harp design and lettering in gilt, spines lettered in gilt, decorative gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, all page edges gilt. The sumptuous "Subscription Edition" of Longfellow's poetical works, with the two volumes properly dated 1879 and 1880 (during which interim Houghton Osgood became Houghton Mifflin). (After his death, there would be a third volume -- his Complete Prose Works -- not present here.) As detailed in Blanck, this edition first came out in 45 paper-covered parts, and then the volumes were available (by purchase or by binding the parts) in cloth, in half-morocco, in "full turkey morocco," or in twice the number of volumes in a "soft flexible morocco." This is the full morocco, with all page edges richly gilt. During the years preceding and succeeding Longfellow's 1882 death, a lot of "Poetical Works" editions were published -- but this must be the most substantial. The leaves measure 12 by 9-1/4 inches, and there is a plethora of full-page plates with tissue guards, plus other illustrations set among the poems; each volume's "List of Illustrations" is eleven pages long, listing about 30 illustrations per page: do the math!). The very first plate is a portrait of Longfellow. Condition is just about fine (a few leaves are browned where old newspaper clippings must once have resided). Blanck 12578.
A Smile of Fortune | The Secret Sharer | Freya of the Seven Isles. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1912. Original olive-green cloth. First Edition, second binding state (of three) -- the first generally-obtainable binding state. This collection of three tales is known primarily for the middle one, "The Secret Sharer" -- Conrad's best-known short story excepting "Heart of Darkness." The binder made an error on the binding of 'TWIXT LAND & SEA, revealed by this copy: on the front cover he listed the third tale as "Freya of the Secret Isles." The error was discovered after only about twenty copies had been issued (the rare first binding state); on the other copies that had already been bound up, the word "Secret" was buffed out and the word "Seven" printed over it -- though the erroneous word remains evident underneath (the second binding state, as here). Finally, those copies not yet bound up (the majority) were done so in a smoother cloth, with the error completely corrected. This is a bright, near-fine copy (a few minor marks, but very little wear or soil). Cagle A16a.1, binding b. Housed in a morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.
London.: Cassell and Company, (1935). Original dark blue cloth with spine lettered in gilt, with dust jacket. First Edition of this collection of eight cases solved by Father Brown, the diminutive Roman Catholic priest / amateur detective. This was the fifth and last collection of Father Brown cases, preceded by THE INNOCENCE OF FATHER BROWN (1911), THE WISDOM. (1914), THE INCREDULITY. (1926), and THE SECRET. (1927); Chesterton died the year after this one was published. .It was in his series of Father Brown stories that Chesterton gave life to one of the most famous and best-loved of fictional detectives. The little Roman Catholic priest's main preoccupation is with the moral and religious aspects of the crimes he is solving, rather than the apprehension of the criminal and the administration of legal punishment. With his psychological approach to the problems of human frailty, and his endowment of the guilty with good as well as bad qualities, Chesterton's works of detective fiction assume a special importance in the genre. [Quayle]. Father Brown has appeared numerous times on the big screen and on television. This is a fine, bright copy, which is in a very good-plus dust jacket (one dime-sized chip at the top of a turn-in fold, a few short closed tears with cello-tape reinforcement on the verso). This is an uncommon book in jacket. Quayle Detective Fiction pp 86-88.
Sewell, Anna ("Translated from the Original Equine by")
[the tale of a horse, BY a horse] London: Jarrold and Sons, n.d.. 8 pp undated ads. Original green cloth decorated in black and gilt. First Edition of this classic tale, told in the first person by Black Beauty himself. He encounters masters both kind and cruel, and as a result the book came to be seen as the UNCLE TOM'S CABIN for animals' rights -- in fact, the first American edition, which came out thirteen years later, was published by the American Humane Society. The tale has been filmed numerous times, beginning in 1910 and continuing in 1946, 1971 and 1994. Anna Sewell (1820-1878). had been crippled by a leg-injury since she was fourteen years of age [resulting in her constant need for horse-drawn carriages], and by the time she came to write BLACK BEAUTY [from 1871 until 1877], her one and only book, she was bedridden [and in declining health: she dictated most of the tale to her mother and, at the end too weak of voice for that, wrote on little slips of paper which her mother transcribed]. She died a few months after its publication, too early to realise the extent of its phenomenal success. [Quayle] Anna Sewell received just twenty pounds from the publisher, for all rights to the book; the book did not sell very well at first, but after it received positive reviews from anti-cruelty groups, sales took off. This copy is Carter's binding "C", which is the most frequently-seen binding -- with the front-cover gilt medallion of a horse's head looking left. Bindings "A" and "B" are noted mainly on copies that were inscribed by Anna Sewell or by her mother (after the author's death), so it is possible that they were special presentation bindings; however there is also at least one known copy in this binding "C" that is inscribed by the author. This is a near-fine copy (volume slightly askew as usual, discreet repair at the top end of the front joint and at the bottom end of the rear joint). There is scarcely any other external wear, the original endpapers are intact (the front one bears a 1922 inscription), and the leaves are free of foxing. Carter MBV pp 37-38; Quayle pp 96-97. In all, a highly-desirable copy, housed in a beautiful morocco-backed clamshell case.
Received from her brother Isaac (surviving Trustee). Single half-leaf, scant 5" x 8". N.p., June 1880. The signature on this receipt -- Mary Ann Cross -- tells us that this was from the incredible final half-year of George Eliot's life. The text of the receipt is written in black ink in a lawyer's (or her brother's) hand: June 1880 Received of Mr Isaac Pearson Evans the surviving Trustee under my late Father's will Forty four pounds and fourpence being half a year's Dividend on money in the funds due to me in April last and 6.11.6 Bank Interest on a sum lately invested. 44.0.4 Mary Ann Cross [signed in purple ink, over a one-penny Inland Revenue stamp]. The receipt is in fine condition except for folds (due to initial mailing and filing); the verso includes filing information in the same legal hand. Mary Anne [sic] Evans, born in 1819, met the love of her life in 1851 -- the agnostic philosopher George Lewes -- and they began living together in 1854, four years before her first published fiction. They did not marry, because George was already married with three children -- but in a marriage that was "open" to say the least (over the subsequent 24 years that George and Marian [sic] lived together, his wife Agnes had four additional children with the man she was living with). Marian and George were together until his death in November 1878 (two years after her final novel) -- at which time she legally changed her name to Mary Ann Evans Lewes. During the eighteen months after George's death, Mary Ann increasingly found solace and companionship with her financial advisor John Walter Cross, twenty years her junior, whose mother had just died. On 6 May 1880, she and Cross married (both for the first time), and she changed her name to Mary Ann Cross; immediately after, the newlywed couple headed off on a ten-week tour of the Continent. Soon after the wedding, her brother Isaac wrote her a congratulatory letter -- his first personal contact with her in 26 years, ever since (he felt) she had shamed the family by moving in with George. She replied to Isaac on 26 May, from Milan. By mid-June, Mary Ann and John were in Venice -- and John was becoming more and more unstable (biographers have speculated that Cross was gay, and that this marriage was never consummated). On 16 June, in a moment of "mental derangement," John threw himself off their hotel balcony into the Grand Canal, an apparent suicide attempt -- though some gondoliers quickly retrieved him, and he survived. The couple altered their itinerary to go straight to some spa resorts in Germany and Austria, then meandered back to arrive in England on July 24th. Since this receipt is dated simply "June 1880", this transaction must have occurred by mail -- which would explain the receipt's numerous folds. Back in England, the couple returned to the author's home, but began the process of buying a house in Chelsea. But just weeks after moving in, Mary Ann developed a throat infection, adding to ongoing kidney problems -- and she died (at age 61) on 22 December 1880. (Ineligible for Westminster Abbey due to her lifestyle and agnosticism, she was buried next to George Lewes in the "Dissenters" section of Highgate Cemetery.) John lived on until 1924, unkindly known as "George Eliot's widow"; in 1885 appeared his GEORGE ELIOT'S LIFE, which was famously reviewed by Prime Minister Gladstone as "It is not a Life at all; it is a Reticence in three volumes." Yes, this is merely a signed receipt, but it was to a brother who had only recently accepted her back into the family, and right at the outset of her very brief and improbable marriage; George Eliot's "Mary Ann Cross" signature is understandably quite uncommon.
London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846. 2 pp undated ads. Original red cloth pictorially decorated in gilt, all page edges gilt. First Edition of the fourth of Dickens's five illustrated Christmas books -- following A CHRISTMAS CAROL, THE CHIMES, and THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH, and preceding THE HAUNTED MAN. This is an unusual tale in which two sisters love the same man, both ultimately settling in with him (though only one is married to him) -- according to Thackeray "a wretched affair." It is in fact quite autobiographical: Dickens loved Mary Hogarth, married her sister Catherine, and then was happy to have his household run by their sister Georgina. This copy has the vignette title page in the fourth and usual state (Todd's state E1), with an angel holding the banner and with no publisher's imprint; in our experience, at least 90% and perhaps 95% of the copies encountered are of this state. This is a bright, near-fine copy, with very little wear; atypically, the original delicate endpapers are not cracked (the front paste-down bears the bookplate of the late Chicago professor Thomas S. Moch, and a small corner of the rear paste-down is chipped). Smith II pp 60-65; Podeschi (Yale) A116.
Doyle, A. Conan
Westminster: A. Constable and Co., 1894. Original blue cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition, being the first volume in the publisher's short-lived "Acme Library" (also issued in wrappers). This is a suspenseful tale involving mesmeric trances and mind control; as G&G points out, Doyle's interest in the subject dated back to his days of medical practice in Southsea. The chief characters are Dr. Austin Gilroy, a physiologist; Agatha, his fiancée; and Mrs. Penelosa, a medium with enormous mesmeric power. Gilroy, at first a skeptic, is working with Mrs. Penelosa on psychic research. He soon observes that she has fallen in love with him, although he feels no attraction to her. He also learns that not only can she mesmerize; she can also project her personality, possess others, and drive them to do what she wants. When Gilroy rejects her, she assaults him psychically and sets out to destroy him. He finds himself engaged in foolish and criminal acts, and loses his job. [Bleiler] This short tale is especially noteworthy on two counts. First, it is a foreshadowing of Doyle's later conversion to spiritualism, the topic that consumed his later years. Second, the tale is also a foreshadowing of another book published by Constable three years later, dealing with a different type of possession: Bram Stoker's DRACULA (in fact, Constable then reissued THE PARASITE in yellow cloth lettered in red, à la DRACULA, to emphasize the similarity) This is a very good-plus copy (some rubbing at the extremities, a few stray scratches). Green & Gibson A17a; Sadleir 748 & 3393/1. Provenance: this copy bears the half-title signature, and the pirate bookplate, of Vincent Starrett (1886-1974), the Canadian-American writer of crime and horror fiction who also wrote THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (he was a founding member of the Chicago branch of the Baker Street Irregulars).
Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1902. 32 pp ads dated "2/02". Original blue cloth lettered in white and pictorially decorated in orange, black and white. First Edition, first printing, first state -- of one of Buchan's earliest and scarcest fiction titles, and one of his creepiest. It is a collection of five fantastical tales, most with supernatural and horror elements that are drawn from Scottish folklore -- "No-Man's-Land," "The Far Islands," "The Watcher by the Threshold," "The Outgoing of the Tide" and "Fountainblue." Quoting from Bleiler regarding the fourth tale. If one goes to the Sker sands on Beltane Eve (April 30th), on the ebb of tide, after midnight, one becomes the property of the Devil. Heriotside and Allie are lovers, and each is urged to go to the sands for a tryst -- Heriotside by a shadowy demon in human form, Allie by her witch mother. (This title is not to be confused with a  Buchan volume by the same title, by Doran of New York, which consisted of the first four of these tales, plus four others.) This is a very good-plus copy of the first impression, with the ads in the earliest state. There is minor rubbing at the extremities, and occasional light foxing within; the original endpapers are intact. We have been able to offer this edition only thrice in our 40+ years in business. Blanchard A13; Bleiler Supernatural Fiction 291. Provenance: bookplate of Wyatt Wyatt-Paine (1855-1935), barrister and author.
London: Sampson Low, Son, & Co., 1862. Original blind-stamped pebbled orange cloth with gilt-decorated spines. First Edition of "the most unjustly neglected of all Wilkie Collins's novels" [Robinson]. Written at the peak of Collins's career just after THE WOMAN IN WHITE, Sampson Low paid Collins 3,000 for NO NAME, and then produced 4,000 copies -- all but 400 of which were sold by the afternoon of the first day [Gasson]. The novel centers about the theme of illegitimacy, and Collins's condemnation of the laws that govern it. It is the story of 18-year-old Magdalen Vanstone's attempt to regain control of her father's fortune (she and her sister are the children of a common-law marriage; just when their parents finally are able to marry, the father suddenly dies before writing a new will -- leaving the two girls with "no name" and thus with no claim upon his fortune). Though her elder (and quieter) sister Norah resigns herself to her impoverished fate, Magdalen enlists the aid of the "delightful scoundrel" Horatio Wragge ("charlatan, trickster, and petty blackmailer -- and the one really successful comic character in the pages of Wilkie Collins" [Robinson]), and even tries to entice the replacement heir into matrimony; Wragge's worthy antagonist, the heir's housekeeper Mrs. Lecount, is "one of Collins's most convincing Jezebels" [Ashley]. The surprise ending is truly ironic. The novel probably represents Collins's best integration of exciting plot with social comment; one unusual feature is the uncertainty of who represents good and who evil in the tale. NO NAME also breaks new ground in that Collins discloses the book's one secret (the daughters' illegitimacy) right near the beginning; "from that point, all the main events of the story are purposely foreshadowed, before they take place" [from Collins's preface]. Also figuring in the plot is the drug laudanum (containing opium) -- with which that year Collins, suffering from gout, first began what would become a lifelong addiction. Unfortunately for posterity, NO NAME was bound in a heavily-pebbled blind-stamped bright orange cloth, with the spine lettering done in reverse (lettering in orange cloth, against the gilt decoration). Even in the best of circumstances, gilt does not show well against orange, and due to the reverse-lettering and the extremely delicate endpapers, we have never seen (or heard of) a truly fine, bright set. This set is certainly near-fine: though the spines are a little darkened, the cloth has little soil, and there is only minor wear at the extremities; only one of the six fragile pale-yellow endpapers is cracked, and that is still tight. As is proper, there is a half-title in Vols I and II only. In all, a desirable set, in its attractive (though impractical) bright orange binding. After THE WOMAN IN WHITE and THE MOONSTONE, ARMADALE and NO NAME are Collins's most sought-after titles. Gasson pp 114-115; Parrish & Miller pp 45-46; Sadleir 601; Wolff 1371; Glover & Greene 77. Housed in an attractive cloth clamshell case.
[in light brown boards] Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1915. 2 pp undated ads. Original light brown paper-covered boards with yapped edges, printed in black. First (Colonial) Edition of Buchan's best-known book, the classic mystery that has withstood the test of time both as a book and as a film. It features a British mining engineer from the southern Africa colonies, bored on vacation in London, who inadvertently learns too much about a German plot, and flees to his homeland of Scotland to avoid his pursuers. This was the first of Buchan's five mysteries to feature the Richard Hannay (the others being GREENMANTLE, MR. STANDFAST, THE THREE HOSTAGES and THE ISLAND OF SHEEP). The tale was of course the basis for one of Alfred Hitchcock's most highly-regarded early films, released in 1935; there have been three other releases, the most recent (2008) for TV. This was a cheaply-produced wartime book (price one shilling), printed on cheap paper that has always browned, with the result that it is now usually encountered in miserable condition. The usual binding for this book is light blue cloth over flimsy boards, with lettering in black on the front cover and spine (very rarely encountered with its pictorial dust jacket). This copy, however, is in plain light brown paper-covered boards, with yapped edges -- but with the exact same lettering as on a standard copy. The front free endpaper bears a clue: a signature followed by "East Africa 1918". The "East African Protectorate" (or British East Africa) became the British colony of Kenya after the war, in 1920. This must have been a copy that Blackwood bound up for the colonies. It is most likely from that same first printing; if there had been a separate (earlier or later) printing just for the colonies, we would be seeing a lot more of these colonial copies. We see no difference between this copy and a standard first edition copy, except for the lighter-weight binding; it is trimmed down a bit to 18.1 x 12.0 cm (Blanchard cites 18.4 x 12.1 cm for a domestic copy). Condition is very good: about a quarter-inch of each spine end is chipped away, and there are short splits in the joints near the ends; there is some understandable bending of the boards where they curl around the edges of the text-block. A very scarce book: we have never seen such a copy before, in our 43 years in business. See Blanchard A32 (who makes no mention of this binding).
[in 1907 dust jacket] With Illustrations by Alonzo Kimball. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907. 4 pp undated ads. Original red cloth, with dust jacket. First Edition of this novel set against the background of American industry, published in the year the author left America for Europe. This little-known novel. was considered controversial for its frank treatment of such issues as labor and industrial conditions, drug addiction, mercy killing, desire, and divorce and second marriages. John Amherst, an idealistic middle-manager in a New England textile mill, is committed to improving the deplorable working conditions of the laborers in his charge. But upper management, whose only concern is maximizing profits, frustrates his efforts. When Amherst eventually marries Bessy Westmore, the widow of the former mill owner, he is able at last to initiate an ambitious project of reform. But happiness for John and Bessy proves to be short-lived. It quickly becomes clear that Bessy does not understand and cannot share her husband's passion for fair labor conditions and industrial reform. She even resents the time he devotes to his work and the way in which his expenditures impact her extravagant lifestyle. [LC] Having underestimated the demand for THE HOUSE OF MIRTH two years earlier (necessitating four printings in the first year), Scribner overestimated the demand for this title -- with just one big 1907 printing, and no more copies until 1913 (-- "cheap" ones published by Grosset & Dunlap by agreement). This copy is in red cloth; some are in greyish-brown cloth with a spine label ("priority undetermined"). This volume is in fine, bright condition -- due to the presence of the original dust jacket. We say "original" because the "New Scribner Fiction" on the rear panel starts off with this book, followed by ten other titles all published no later than 1907. (We believe that Garrison erroneously illustrates a 1909 pictorial jacket for this book -- listing 1909 books as "Recent Fiction," and in fact noting that a Theodore Roosevelt story "will continue. during 1910.") This scarce 1907 jacket is unfortunately lacking about a quarter of its front panel, but is otherwise in very good condition. Garrison A14.I.a, binding B.
With Illustrations by A.B. Wenzell. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905. Original red cloth. First Edition, early printing, of Edith Wharton's first major novel -- which had "the most rapid sale of any book ever published by Scribner" at the time. The novel "covers the last seventeen months in the life of Lily Bart, a beautiful and fashionable but also penniless and imprudent young woman in her late twenties. The action. is spurred by Lily's extraordinary capacity to get herself, at least half innocently, into situations of a doubtful, even of a scandalous, nature" [Lewis]. Due to the "rapid sale," there were four Scribner printings dated 1905 (the earlier two printed on laid paper, the later two on wove paper); the first and fourth have blank ad leaves at the rear, while the second and third have printed ads there. This copy is on wove paper with blank ad leaves -- hence, the fourth and last 1905 printing (but except for the type of paper used, identical to the first). Fine condition (an appropriate Brentano's NY sticker on the rear endpaper -- likely the original bookseller). Garrison A12.I.f.
New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1903. Original red cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition, first printing (with the J.J. Little device and "First Edition" on the copyright page). This copy is in the first state, with integral title leaf. This was the second volume in Norris's planned trilogy on human suffering and sacrifice, "The Epic of the Wheat." THE OCTOPUS (1901) had described the struggle between wheat farmers and the railroad interests in California, and THE PIT then follows the same wheat through the manipulation of the commodity markets in Chicago. The third volume, which would have been titled THE WOLF, was going to follow the wheat to its destination, relieving a famine in Europe. However, Norris died in 1902 (after an appendix operation, at age 32), so the third volume was never written. This copy is in the standard bright red cloth binding (there were also "presentation copies" in grey paper boards), and is in fine, bright condition (signature erased from front endpaper). McElrath A7.1.a (binding B); Blanck 15038; a Johnson High Spot (though most would place THE OCTOPUS at least on a par with THE PIT).
New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1903. Original grey boards with printed spine label. First Edition, first issue (with the J.J. Little device and "First Edition" on the copyright page). This was the second volume in Norris's planned trilogy on human suffering and sacrifice, "The Epic of the Wheat." THE OCTOPUS (1901) had described the struggle between wheat farmers and the railroad interests in California, and THE PIT then follows the same wheat through the manipulation of the markets in Chicago. The third volume, which would have been titled THE WOLF, was going to follow the wheat to its destination, relieving a famine in Europe; however, Norris died in 1902 (after an appendix operation, at age 32), so the third volume was never written. This is one of the "Special Presentation Edition" copies, bound in grey boards with printed spine label (rather than the trade copy's red cloth decorated in gilt). These copies include a frontispiece portrait, and also a pre-printed "presentation" passage on the front free endpaper -- this copy filled in with the name "Mr. William Holdredge". (We cannot identify this recipient, though there was a New York publisher by that name about fifty years earlier.) This is a clean, close-to-fine copy (top of spine bumped). It is unknown how many "presentation" copies were so bound, but every copy we've seen has had a recipient's name written in, so it presumably was somewhat limited. Blanck 15038; McElrath A7.1.a.1, binding A.