Orwell, George [pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair]
THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER
With a Foreword by Victor Gollancz. London: Victor Gollancz, 1937. Original orange cloth wrappers. First Edition ("Left Book Club Edition / Not for Sale to the Public"). Part I of this book describes the living conditions of the coal miners in the industrial north of England, illustrated with photographs; Part II describes Orwell's own middle-class upbringing, and the development of his social and political conscience. The publisher Victor Gollancz -- a social reformer himself -- put up the funds for Orwell to live among the miners for some months. Gollancz also issued a 1937 trade edition (hardback with dust jacket), which did not include Gollancz's 14-page Foreword. This book preceded Orwell's postwar ANIMAL FARM and NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR by about a decade. This is a near-fine copy (volume slightly askew, a few stray orange threads at some edges); though not a scarce book, it typically turns up soiled and frayed. NCBEL IV 691.
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Trollope, Anthony Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson & Brothers, n.d. . 22 pp ads paginated -12, 1-16, [1-4] -- undated but referring to the year 1870. Original blind-stamped black cloth with spine decorated and lettered in gilt. First American Edition of Trollope's first book. This tale was first published in three volumes, in 1847 by Thomas Cautley Newby; in 1951 it was ranked by Sadleir as the very scarcest of Trollope's 53 first editions. Next came THE KELLYS AND THE O'KELLYS in 1848, and then LA VENDÉE in 1850. But Trollope was not really "noticed" in America until after the success of his fourth and fifth novels -- THE WARDEN in 1855 and BARCHESTER TOWERS in 1857. Soon Harper began publishing Trollope's novels, beginning with DOCTOR THORNE in 1858 and THE BERTRAMS in 1859. In 1860 Rudd & Carleton of NY published Trollope's second novel (THE KELLYS AND THE O'KELLYS), but the first and third novels remained unpublished in America. According to Smith, in early 1861 Harper announced the forthcoming publication of THE MACDERMOTS OF BALLYCLORAN, but it never happened. It was another decade before T.B. Peterson published this first American edition of Trollope's first book. As with all Peterson publications, this book has an undated title page; the only way to discern the date of a Peterson publication is via the ad catalogue, which here properly includes the date 1870. This is a bright, tight, near-fine copy, with scarcely any wear and with the original dark-brown endpapers intact. In our experience this is one of the scarcest Trollope American editions -- probably because Peterson printed few copies of a book that had in fact come out almost a quarter of a century earlier. Smith (US Trollope) 26 -- with the same ads as here, except that the -12 and [1-4] ads precede the 16-page catalogue; see Sadleir (UK Trollope) 1, which for a First American Edition cites "None within any reasonable period of time"; also see Sadleir (XIX) pp 382-383.
Trollope, Anthony New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860. 6 pp undated ads. Original blind-stamped red ribbed-morocco grain cloth with spine lettered in gilt. First American Edition of this early Trollope novel, which had first come out in late 1857 (three volumes, London post-dated 1858). This was his sixth novel, following the initial two "Irish" ones, LA VENDÉE set in France, and then THE WARDEN and BARCHESTER TOWERS. It was the success of these latter two that prompted Harper to begin publishing American editions beginning in 1858; this was the fourth Trollope title Harper published. Smith cites five binding variants (no known precedence); this copy is in red ribbed-morocco grain cloth, which is either Smith's binding "A -- dark reddish-brown" or "E -- moderate reddish-brown" (this copy simply looks "red" to us). Condition is very good-plus (quite minor wear at the extremities, a few string-indents on the rear cover, spine gilt less than bright); the original coffee-colored endpapers are intact, and the volume is tight. This is a tough title to find in any better condition. Smith 5 (pp 17-20). Provenance: flyleaf inscription from father to son in Hong Kong, "Feby 9th / 61"; penciled signature dated May 1987 of John [E.] Ruyle (1934-2008), the Berkeley bibliophile, writer and printer.
Doyle, A. Conan London: George Newnes, n.d. . Original dark blue cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition of these eight additional tales of the Napoleonic soldier Étienne Gerard, the sequel to his EXPLOITS published in 1896. During the decade between Sherlock Holmes's death in 1893 ("The Final Problem" in The Strand Magazine of December 1893), and his resurrection in October 1903 ("The Empty House" in The Strand issue of October 1903), Doyle tried unsuccessfully to meet his public's demand for adventure tales in The Strand with these Brigadier Gerard yarns. Though not mentioned on the title page, the book is illustrated with plates by W.B. Wollen. This is an unusually bright copy, without soil or wear -- FINE except for one oddity: an early owner (see below) wrote his name not on the front endpaper but on the top edge of the leaves. Green & Gibson A27a. Provenance: small W.H. Smith blind-stamp at the corner of the front free endpaper; above-referenced calligraphic name of the renowned British racehorse trainer P[eter]. [Valentine] Purcell Gilpin (1858-1928); a caricature of him appeared in Vanity Fair in 1908.
Doyle, A. Conan As made to his Three Grandchildren Joseph, Gervas, & Reuben during the Hard Winter of 1734. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1889. 2 pp undated ads + 16 pp ads dated June 1888. Original very dark blue cloth, beveled edges. First Edition, consisting of only 1000 copies. This historical novel was Doyle's third book -- his first hardcover one, preceded only by the two wrappered titles A STUDY IN SCARLET and THE MYSTERY OF CLOOMBER. MICAH CLARKE was quite successful, running through several quick printings, though Doyle had had to take it to numerous publishers before Andrew Lang at Longmans finally accepted it. [Doyle] brought together his knowledge of the seventeenth century and supplemented it with months of research on detail. Then, at intervals of tramping medical rounds or studying optics at the Portsmouth Eye Hospital, he wrote the book in three months. Now the power of MICAH CLARKE, aside from its best action scenes -- the bloodhounds on Salisbury Plain, the brush with the King's Dragoons, the fight in Wells Cathedral, the blinding battle-piece at Sedgemoor -- still lies in its characterization: that other imagination, the use of homely detail, by which each character grows into life before ever a shot is fired in war [Carr]. This copy has the ad catalogue dated June 1888, which is the earliest for this title -- but the book was not actually published until February 1889, and the "standard" ad catalogue is dated January 1889. This is quite simply a fine, bright copy -- essentially no soil or wear, original patterned endpapers clean and intact; beginning on page 97, the leaves remain unopened. Although surprisingly not a scarce title, this is by far the best copy we have seen in our 40+ years in business. Green & Gibson A3a. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed clamshell case.
Doyle, A. Conan With Illustrations. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1896. 10 pp undated ads. Original black (very dark purple?) cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition of this novel that curiously combines the sport of boxing and the Regency period. The eponymous narrator is a country boy who wishes to go to sea, but winds up with his fashionable uncle in London -- where soon his best friend is "Boy Jim," who hopes to become a bare-knuckle boxer like his blacksmith uncle. [Doyle] had always been fond of boxing, had revelled in the history of the prize-ring, and in RODNEY STONE his enthusiasm and knowledge are apparent. As usual the action-episodes are first-rate; and as usual the historical personages are not an integral part of the story. but Doyle wanted to reconstruct an age, and so Nelson, the Prince Regent, Sheridan, Fox, Beau Brummell. and others, pop in and out of the pages for the sole purpose of creating a 'period piece' [Pearson]. The illustrations are by Sidney Paget, who also did the Sherlock Holmes illustrations. The tale was adapted into a 1913 silent film "The House of Temperley"; 70 years later it was dramatized for BBC Radio. Though this book was issued in considerable numbers, we find it to be surprisingly uncommon today -- especially in acceptable condition. This is a remarkably fine copy -- best we have seen in our 40+ years in business -- with no external soil or wear, though the front endpaper is slightly cracked. Green & Gibson A20a. Housed in a morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.
Doyle, A. Conan New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1907. Original tan cloth pictorially decorated in black, white and green. First Separate Edition (being one of the "other stories" that had been published with THE GREEN FLAG in 1900); before that (in October-December 1899), it had appeared in The Strand Magazine with 16 Sidney Paget illustrations. Doyle brought his much-loved sport of boxing into a number of his works, such as his novel RODNEY STONE and this tale. A young Welsh medical student enters the boxing ring, in the hope of winning the funds necessary to establish his own practice. The tale appeared on the screen in 1921, as a British silent film. Included is a color frontispiece of a prizefighter. This is a close-to-fine copy, with no cover soil and with much-less-than-usual flaking of the white cover panel -- both of which are usually major problems with this book. Green & Gibson A31a.
Doyle, A. Conan With Illustrations. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1911. 14 pp undated ads. Original deep red cloth with cover vignette in gilt. First Edition of this collection of eighteen tales, including several of a science fiction vein. The color frontispiece (for "The Coming of the Huns") is by N.C. Wyeth -- a portion of which also serves as front cover vignette; the one other illustration (showing the beast that is "The Terror of Blue John Gap") is a scary one by Harry Rountree. This is a remarkably bright copy, without external soil or wear -- FINE except that the upper-right corner of the title page has been archivally treated (undoubtedly to remove a signature); there is scarcely any of the foxing that typically afflicts this thick wove paper. As with the other similarly-bound Doyle volumes published by Smith Elder, this is a tough first edition to find in decent shape. Green & Gibson A35a. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise. Provenance: Bela Saint George engraved 1923 bookplate of New York dentist and major Doyle collector James Foster Hasbrouck.
Doyle, A. Conan London, Paris & Melbourne: Cassell & Company, 1892. 8 pp undated ads. Original dark blue cloth. First Edition of this early Doyle venture into the field of science fiction, largely concerned with alchemy. Raffles Haw, a mysterious millionaire who secretly has learned the process for turning lead into gold, builds a mansion in a small town in Staffordshire, and sets about using his wealth to improve the lives of just about everyone in town -- but becomes disillusioned when instead they become parasites dependent upon him. with a predictably tragic ending. Doyle wrote this mainly to finance a trip to Vienna where he planned to establish himself as an eye doctor (the book is dedicated to the Harley Street dermatologist who encouraged him to go there). He stayed in Vienna only two months, returning with the conviction that his future lay in literature rather than in medicine. RAFFLES HAW was published in March 1892 (only 2001 copies). This was partway through the Strand Magazine appearances of his first twelve "cases" of Sherlock Holmes, which in October 1892 would constitute his next book, THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES -- and suddenly Doyle would be famous. This is a fine, bright copy (a hint of cracking of the front endpaper). Green & Gibson A9a. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise.
Dickens, Charles [a handsome set] Wholesale, Retail, and for Exportation. With Illustrations by H.K. Browne. [In 20-in-19 monthly serial parts.] London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846-1848. Original light blue-green pictorial wrappers. First Edition, as issued in 20-in-19 monthly serial parts beginning in October 1846 and ending in April 1848. The serialization of this novel began upon the end of serialization of OLIVER TWIST (the scarcest of all "Dickens in parts," occurring eight years after its publication in book form); until OLIVER TWIST these monthly parts of Dickens's works were issued by Chapman & Hall, but were now being issued by Bradbury & Evans. Part XVIII of DOMBEY AND SON includes the first so-called "dark plate" (appropriately, "On the dark Road") to appear in a Dickens work -- possible due to a new process; there would be another in DAVID COPPERFIELD, followed by ten in BLEAK HOUSE and eight in LITTLE DORRIT. At the end of serialization, DOMBEY AND SON was published in book form -- the preliminary leaves for which are supplied at the end of the final monthly part. As for issue points (there are three), this set like most is mixed: it reads "Capatin" on p. 324 (the uncommon 1st state), "if" is absent on p. 426 (1st state), and "431" is present on that page (2nd state) -- curious, in that pages 426 and 431 are in the same part. (The word "Delight" on page 284 is a faux issue point, since all copies in parts have that error.) This is a very good-plus set -- fine in appearance, because all the wrappers (front and rear) are unusually clean; six of the front wrappers bear the small ink-stamp of "Webster & Co., 60 Piccadilly". Two of the rear wrappers (I and XVI) are "borrowed" from a different part, and all the delicate (plain) spines are expertly renewed. Notably, this set has ALL the advertisements and slips that are specified in the Hatton & Cleaver bibliography for a complete set. All the plates have varying degrees of darkening or foxing in the margins, but only Part II has plates that are significantly foxed. In all, an absolutely complete, clean set, with allowances for the "renewals." Hatton & Cleaver pp 225-250. Housed in a handsome clamshell case with morocco spine.
Dickens, Charles [in the original cloth] With Illustrations by Phiz. London: Chapman and Hall, 1844. Original blind-stamped diagonally-ribbed blue cloth. First Edition in book form, published immediately at the conclusion of the 20-in-19 monthly serial parts (issued from January 1843 through July 1844). MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT marks Dickens's return to conventional serial parts, with separate plates, followed by a single octavo volume (as with NICHOLAS NICKLEBY in 1839); since then, he had tried weekly parts composed of a single illustrated folded sheet (MASTER HUMPHREY'S CLOCK, consisting of both THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP and BARNABY RUDGE, published all-together in book form in three oversized volumes). CHUZZLEWIT was the first of Dickens's novels to lose readers during serialization; when the publisher Hall accordingly suggested Dickens's fees should be reduced (though it never happened), it created a rift that was not bridged until Chapman and Hall published A TALE OF TWO CITIES in 1859. Included are the forty plates by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"), two of which had appeared in each part. This copy is in the primary cloth binding for MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, blind-stamped diagonally-ribbed blue cloth. The errata leaf is in the usual 14-line state; the vignette title page has "100£" printed thus and has seven studs along the top edge of the trunk (Smith's state "1" -- one of three states, without precedence). The volume's condition is very good-plus -- unusually attractive externally, with only the slightest of wear at the extremities. The pale yellow endpapers appear to be original (with no evidence of anything underneath the paste-downs), but in our opinion they are too clean, too intact, and perhaps a slightly variant hue of yellow -- so we believe they are later, in other words that the volume was deftly re-cased, but without any external evidence. The "Phiz" plates (and the text) are quite clean and free of foxing -- though there is a marginal corner repair to the frontispiece. In all, this is clearly a better-looking copy than most. All of the thick octavo-format Dickens novels (the six others being PICKWICK PAPERS, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, DOMBEY AND SON, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BLEAK HOUSE and LITTLE DORRIT) are difficult to obtain in presentable original condition, as the bulk of text and plates was too heavy for the simple cloth bindings and delicate endpapers; however, in our experience, MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT (incidentally the only one of the seven to be bound in blue rather than olive-green cloth) is one of the toughest. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed cloth clamshell case. Smith I pp 63-67.
Meredith, George London: Chapman and Hall, 1891. Original royal blue cloth decorated in black. First Edition of what is "generally considered the most stylistically opaque and tortured of his [Meredith's] novels" [Williams]. Victor Radnor, Nataly Dreighton and their daughter Nesta have been supremely happy for twenty years; but now that Nesta is of marriageable age, it is time she and her suitor know that Victor is in fact married to a much older woman -- whom he had married for money, but who ever since has not had the decency either to divorce him or to die. As usual with Meredith's novels, the comedy of this situation turns to tragedy. In this set the front free endpaper versos bear Meredith ads (in some copies they are blank -- priority uncertain). It is a bright, close-to-fine set (a touch of bubbling of the cloth near the top of one front cover, very minor rubbing at the corners). This is not a scarce book, but truly fine copies are difficult to find. Collie XIII; Sadleir 1700c; Carter p. 141.
Melville, Herman New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847. 16 pp undated ads (in addition to the 9 pp integral "Publishers' Advertisement" ads for TYPEE, paginated [xv]-xxiii). Original blind-stamped grey-green cloth with front cover gilt vignette and with gilt-decorated spine. First American Edition, issued about a week or two after Murray's edition in London. This was Melville's second book, preceded only by (and written as a sequel to) TYPEE of the year before. As with several other Melville novels, the basis for this tale was his long voyage and intermittent adventures of 1841-1844: he started off on a whaling ship (MOBY DICK), but he and a companion jumped ship in the Marquesas (TYPEE and MARDI); from the natives who were holding him captive there he escaped on an Australian ship -- from which he in turn deserted in Tahiti (OMOO); ultimately he got from Tahiti back to Honolulu on another whaler, and then back to Boston on an American man-o'-war (WHITE-JACKET). "Having completed his education in what he later termed the only Harvard and Yale that were open to him, he returned home to begin fashioning novels from his experiences."[(OCAL] Opposite the black-and-red-printed title page is the frontispiece map of Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands. OMOO was issued by Harper both in wrappers and in any of nine styles of cloth (without priority). This one is in the so-called "green TB" cloth, and has the original (intact) marbled endpapers. This is a near-fine copy (a trace of wear at the spine ends and one mark on the front cover; as usual there is minor foxing on the leaves within). OMOO has become scarce in fine condition in its original state. Blanck 13656. Housed in a handsome clamshell case with green morocco spine and separate black leather labels. Provenance: affixed to the front paste-down is the card of Horace K. Flint (born 1821 in St. Johnsbury VT and married in VT 1849; emigrated first to Racine WI, and just after the Civil War to Vineland NJ, where he was a newspaper publisher around 1880).
Stevenson, Robert Louis [the fine Beverly Chew copy] being Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751. [London:] Cassell & Company, 1886. 16 pp ads dated July 1886. Original bright red cloth. First Edition, first issue. In mid-18th Century Scotland, 17-year-old David Balfour is cheated out of his inheritance by a greedy uncle, who has him kidnapped and shipped to the Carolinas; with numerous challenges Balfour manages to get back to Scotland to fight to regain his property and his name. Stevenson began KIDNAPPED early in 1885 "partly as a lark, partly as a pot-boiler" (according to himself); he finished it in Spring 1886 -- having interrupted it part way through to write DR JEKYLL AND MR HYDE. He had accepted Sidney Colvin's suggestion to cut short KIDNAPPED and leave the rest for a sequel -- which he did, with DAVID BALFOUR / CATRIONA, in 1893. This is a copy of the first issue (with "name his business" on p. 40, "nine o'clock" on p. 64, and "Long Islands" on p. 101). The ads are dated July 1886, which was the month of publication (some copies, not necessarily issued earlier, curiously have ads dated April). This copy's color is bright red, one of several (five?) used without priority. Condition is FINE: the bright red cloth is essentially without wear or soil or fading. The spine gilt remains bright, the original black-coated endpapers are clean and un-cracked, the foldout map is not torn, and there is no foxing on the leaves within. Beinecke 378; Princeton 31 (copies 1-4). Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise. Provenance: small armorial bookplate (created in 1895 by Edwin Davis French) of the banker Beverly Chew (1850-1924). Chew was a long-time supporter of the Grolier Club, editing some of their best catalogues (librarian 1887-1892, president 1892-1896). His extensive library was sold at Anderson Galleries in 1924.
Trollope, Anthony London: Chapman and Hall, 1866. Original rose cloth, beveled. First Edition of this collection of pieces such as "The Family that Goes Abroad because it's the thing to do," "The Unprotected Female Tourist," and "Tourists who don't like their Travels." This book was issued as a companion volume to HUNTING SKETCHES, published the year before, and was followed by CLERGYMEN OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND later in 1866 (preliminarily titled CLERICAL SKETCHES). This copy, without the 24 pages of ads present only in some copies, is in fine condition -- no soil or wear at all, the (plain) spine with scarcely any of the usual fading, and with the leaves entirely unopened. Though this title is not a Trollope rarity, it is seldom that a 155-year-old volume is encountered in this remarkable as-new condition. Sadleir (TROLLOPE) 23. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed clamshell case.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel being A Second Wonder-Book. With [Six] Fine Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1853. 8 pp preliminary ads dated July 1853. Original blind-stamped green cloth with gilt-decorated spine. First American Edition, first printing, published in the month following the English edition. This is Hawthorne's collection of mythological tales (the Golden Fleece, the Minotaur, etc.) re-told "for Girls and Boys." There were two printings dated 1853: 3000 copies printed in August or earlier but not issued until September 20th, plus another 800 copies printed on September 16th -- before any copies had been issued. (Ticknor delayed publication to permit Chapman & Hall to publish first, for copyright purposes.) The second printing is identifiable by the addition of George C. Rand's imprint on the copyright page -- not present here. This copy has preliminary ads in the earliest state, dated July 1853, where this title is listed without a price and as "In press"; we have seen first-printing copies with ads dated July or August, or with no ads, and we have seen second-printing copies with ads dated October. It is in green cloth (one of several colors used, without precedence). Condition is near-fine (minor fading of the spine, a couple of leaves standing slightly proud, a few faint droplet-marks on the rear cover). There is a small name-plate on the front paste-down. Clark A22.2.b; see Blanck 7614; Peter Parley to Penrod p. 10.
Orwell, George [pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair] London: Secker & Warburg, 1950. Original pale aqua cloth printed in purplish-red, with dust jacket. Second British Edition of Orwell's last, and many would say greatest, novel. It is a nightmare story of totalitarianism of the future and one man's hopeless struggle against it and final defeat by acceptance. Winston Smith, the hero, has no heroic qualities, only a wistful longing for truth and decency. But in a social system where there is no privacy and to have unorthodox ideas incurs the death penalty, he knows that there is no hope for him. The book is a warning of the possibilities of the police state brought to perfection, where power is the only thing that counts, where the past is constantly being modified to fit the present, and where the official language, "Newspeak," progressively narrows the range of ideas and independent thought [Oxford C.E.L.] A topic just as relevant today as it was when the Soviets were consolidating control over Eastern Europe. The UK printing history is recorded on the title verso, as follows: "First published 1949 | Reprinted 1950 | Reprinted 1950 | Reset 1950". Thus this is the fourth overall printing, but the first to be reset (i.e. a new edition -- with the text ending on page 318 rather than 312). This volume is in very good condition (cloth generally mottled); the dust jacket, which at the bottom of the rear flap reads "Fourth Impression" and "10s. net" (and varies on the rear cover and both flaps from the first edition jacket), is in very good-plus condition, quite clean but with some wear at the extremities. Fenwick A.12i (which indicates that this volume was printed in France but bound in London -- but the title verso disagrees, recording the same British printer and binder as for the first edition); #13 in the Modern Library list of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century.
Carroll, Lewis [pseudonym of C.L. Dodgson] With Nine Illustrations by Henry Holiday. London: Macmillan and Co., 1876. 1 page undated ads. Original deep red cloth pictorially decorated in black, all page edges gilt. First Edition, special dark-red binding, which consisted of 100 copies. This is a poetical nonsense tale, both funny and subtle, that "describes with infinite humour the impossible voyage of an improbable crew to find an inconceivable creature" [WM&G]. The crew consists of a Bellman, a Bonnet-Maker, a Barrister, a Broker, a Billiard-Maker, a Banker, a Butcher, a Baker, a Beaver and (the only one not illustrated) "a Boots." In his dedicatory verse to Gertrude Chataway, Carroll hid the child's name twice. Standard copies were issued in buff-colored cloth (with the same elaborate pictorial decoration, but in black). According to WM&G, "It is doubtful whether any variant coloured bindings were for sale, other than buff or red; the other colours seem to have been bound specially for Dodgson, who wrote to Macmillan on 21 Mar. 1876 ordering: '100 in red and gold, 20 in dark blue and gold, 20 in white vellum and gold'." (Dodgson had a few others bound just for himself, possibly in light blue, light green and dark green.) This is a very good-plus copy, with (as usual) some wear at the spine ends; the covers have some rubbing, but the original endpapers are not cracked at all. In all, this is an attractive book, with the gilt standing out well against this dark red cloth. Williams Madan & Green 115.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel being A Second Wonder-Book. With [Six] Fine Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1853. 8 pp preliminary ads dated July 1853. Original blind-stamped red cloth with gilt-decorated spine. First American Edition, first printing, published in the month following the English edition. This is Hawthorne's collection of mythological tales (the Golden Fleece, the Minotaur, etc.) re-told "for Girls and Boys." There were two printings dated 1853: 3000 copies printed in August or earlier but not issued until September 20th, plus another 800 copies printed on September 16th -- before any copies had been issued. (Ticknor delayed publication to permit Chapman & Hall to publish first, for copyright purposes.) The second printing is identifiable by the addition of George C. Rand's imprint on the copyright page -- not present here. This copy has preliminary ads in the earliest state, dated July 1853, where this title is listed without a price and as "In press"; we have seen first-printing copies with ads dated July or August, or with no ads, and we have seen second-printing copies with ads dated October. It is in bright red cloth (one of several colors used, without precedence). Condition is bright and close to fine (just a trace of wear at the spine ends). Clark A22.2.b; see Blanck 7614; Peter Parley to Penrod p. 10. Housed in a cloth clamshell case with morocco label. Provenance: bookplate of Bruce Lisman, from his renowned collection sold at Christie's.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel being A Second Wonder-Book. With [Six] Fine Illustrations. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1853. 8 pp preliminary ads dated August 1853. Original blind-stamped blue cloth with gilt-decorated spine. First American Edition, first printing, published in the month following the English edition. This is Hawthorne's collection of mythological tales (the Golden Fleece, the Minotaur, etc.) re-told "for Girls and Boys." There were two printings dated 1853: 3000 copies printed in August or earlier but not issued until September 20th, plus another 800 copies printed on September 16th -- before any copies had been issued. (Ticknor delayed publication to permit Chapman & Hall to publish first, for copyright purposes.) The second printing is identifiable by the addition of George C. Rand's imprint on the copyright page -- not present here. This copy has preliminary ads dated August 1853, where this title is listed without a price and as "Just out"; we have seen first-printing copies with ads dated July or August, or with no ads, and we have seen second-printing copies with ads dated October. It is in blue cloth (one of several colors used, without precedence). Condition is bright and near-fine (scarcely any wear, occasional foxing most evident on the ad leaves, the lower edge of the title leaf "naturally" ragged). Clark A22.2.b; see Blanck 7614; Peter Parley to Penrod p. 10.
Thoreau, Henry D[avid] [the E.R. Hoar / Doheny copy] Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865. 24 pp ads dated Dec 1864. Original blind-stamped purple cloth with gilt-decorated spine. First Edition, first printing, which consisted of only 2,000 or 2,040 copies (of which some were sent to England to be issued with a cancel title page) -- printed in December 1864, but not actually published until late March 1865. Edited by the younger William Ellery Channing and by Thoreau's sister Sophia, this was the fifth Thoreau book, preceded by A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS, WALDEN, and the posthumous EXCURSIONS and THE MAINE WOODS. There were four different bindings used (differing in blind-stamping and in "author of" spine verbiage), and in seven different colors and grains of cloth -- without known priority; this copy is in Blanck's "binding A," and is in purple "Z" (triangular-grain) cloth. This is a bright, near-fine copy (a trace of wear at the spine ends); the spine has generally browned -- as is typical for this purple cloth -- but the spine lettering remains quite bright. The original brown-coated endpapers are intact, and there is no foxing on the leaves within. This has become a difficult title to acquire in such condition. Borst A5.1.a, binding 2; Blanck 20115, binding A. Provenance: both the front paste-down and the title page bear the signature "E.R. Hoar": Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (1816-1895) of Concord was a good friend of Thoreau and of Emerson, and in fact his sister Elizabeth was engaged (for a time) to Emerson's brother Charles. Hoar would be U.S. Attorney General in 1869-1870, and was the first Head of the newly-created Dept. of Justice. Three years before this book was published, Hoar was the dedicatee of James Russell Lowell's BIGLOW PAPERS: Second Series (1862). Also: the front paste-down bears the small leather bookplate of Estelle Doheny (from her sale at Christie's on 18 October 1988).
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, first and only printing that was dated 1863, which consisted of just 1558 copies (1500 of which were bound up) -- priced at $1.00. This posthumous collection of naturalist essays (including "A Winter Walk," "Autumnal Tints" and "Night and Moonlight") 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 was by his friend and neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ticknor & Fields wished to pay a royalty of 10¢ but Thoreau's sister. preferred 15¢. According to the T&F cost books the matter was settled by paying her 12½¢ per copy [Borst]. This copy is in the zigzag or "sawtooth" grain cloth (Blanck's "TR" grain, horizontal); others are in pebbled cloth, or in cloth with a triangular pattern (no priority; the gilt and blind-stamping on all three types of cloth is identical). This is a close to FINE copy (a faint scratch on the front cover, a small rubbed spot on the lower spine); the spine gilt is unusually bright, and the original brown endpapers are clean and intact. The engraved frontispiece portrait of Thoreau -- the first publication of his likeness anywhere -- is clean and sharp; as always, in spite of the presence of the original frontispiece tissue, it has lightly offset onto the title page. EXCURSIONS has become notoriously difficult to find in this condition. Borst A3.1.a; Blanck 20111.
(Whitman, Walt) May 31, 1889. Notes, Addresses, Letters, Telegrams. Edited by Horace L. Traubel. Philadelphia: David McKay, 1889. Original maroon cloth. First Edition of this group of writings, by Whitman and others, upon the occasion of the "Complimentary Dinner" held in his honor in Camden on May 31, 1889 -- his 70th birthday (he would have only two more). The three Whitman pieces making their first appearance here are his own lengthy "Autobiographic Note" (page 4), his brief response at the dinner (page 5), and Whitman's own advertisement for his books (complete with mailing address for sending funds "to W.W.'s order" (page 74). Quoting about half of his response: My friends, though announc'd to give an address, there is no such intention. I have obeyed the command to come and look at you, for a minute, and show myself; which is probably the best I can do. All I have felt the imperative conviction to say I have already printed in my books of poems or prose. And so, hail and farewell. Deeply acknowledging this deep compliment, with my best respects and love to you personally -- to Camden -- to New-Jersey, and to all represented here -- you must excuse me from any word further. In addition to a poem written by Ernest Rhys for the occasion, there are 38 letters from such as Mark Twain, William Morris, John G. Whittier, W.D. Howells, John Burroughs and William Rossetti. 1000 copies were printed. This is a bright, near-fine copy (light rubbing at the extremities). Myerson D17.
Melville, Herman [Melville's first fiction] New York: Harper & Brothers, 1849. 8 pp Vol II undated ads. Original blind-stamped green cloth. First American Edition of Melville's first novel, an allegorical romance that was preceded only by the nonfictional TYPEE (1846) and OMOO (1847); "Mardi" means "the world" in Polynesian. As Melville indicates in his Preface, ". having published two narratives of voyages in the Pacific, . the thought occurred to me, of indeed writing a romance of Polynesian adventure.". Much of the tale (the voyage thither) takes place on whaling vessels, anticipating the publication of MOBY DICK two years later. Although MARDI was advertised as "will be immediately issued, being published simultaneously by Messrs. Harper in this city, and Bentley in London," it is generally agreed that Bentley's three-decker came out about three weeks earlier. This set is in green wavy-grain ("TR") cloth; copies were also issued, without precedence, in brown, blue-green, and purple cloth of this and two other grains. The Vol II ad catalogue is present; no ads are ever called for in Vol I. This set does not have the blind-stamped rule across the extreme head of the spines (no precedence is known). The volumes are in very good condition -- very minor wear at the extremities, a couple of minor creases in one board, one binder's flyleaf excised (possibly by the binder), spines slightly browned as usual, bookplate partially removed from one pastedown, endpapers rather darkened as usual. In spite of this list of drawbacks, this is not at all a bad set of Melville's first venture into fiction. Blanck 13658. Housed in twin morocco-backed slipcases with inner chemises (the cases mistakenly read "London 1849").
Jewett, Sarah Orne [her first book, FINE] Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1877. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in black and gilt, all page edges red. First Edition of Sarah Orne Jewett's first book -- of which this is a copy in the first state (with "was" at page 65 line 16, later changed to "so"). The three earliest printings, all dated 1877 and consisting of 1280, 500 and 500 copies, do not designate the printing on the title page; thus it is unknown whether the two p. 65 states are 1780/500 copies or 1280/1000 copies. (There were also so-stated "fourth" and "fifth" printings dated 1877.) The author, of South Berwick, Maine, first began writing these tales sited in the imaginary "Deephaven" for the Atlantic Monthly in 1868, when she was only nineteen. The book was an immediate success; it came at just the right moment, when the rage for genre regional studies of America was at its height and when fiction in general was at a low ebb. It made her famous at a bound; it sent her to Boston and New York and Philadelphia; it made her a friend of the "Boston circle," particularly of Howells, Lowell, Whittier, and Thomas Bailey Aldrich. [K&H] This copy is in terra-cotta cloth; other copies were in green or mauve cloth (no priority). It is quite simply a fine, bright copy, without external soil or wear and with the spine gilt unusually bright. Inside, the leaves are clean and fresh; there is a trace of the almost-unavoidable surface-cracking of the original dark-green endpapers, but the volume is tight and quite-possibly never read. This is tough book to find in this condition, as it was cheaply produced with semi-flexible boards. Blanck 10871 (mentioning green or mauve cloth, but not this terra-cotta). Housed in a cloth clamshell case with morocco label. Provenance: bookplate of Bruce Lisman, from his renowned collection sold at Christie's.
THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER: https://rarebookinsider.com/rare-books/the-road-to-wigan-pier/