A Christmas and New Year's Present. Edited by S. G. Goodrich. Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830. Original red watered silk lettered in gilt, all edges gilt.
One of the very earliest appearances in print of Nathaniel Hawthorne -- if it truly is by Hawthorne. His first book, FANSHAWE, had come out in 1828, attracting the attention of only a few, but one of them was Samuel Goodrich ("Peter Parley"), who invited Hawthorne to contribute tales to his annual gift-book, THE TOKEN. Hawthorne did (eight others are known), and some of these tales were subsequently collected as Hawthorne's second book, TWICE-TOLD TALES (1837). This was the third of the fifteen annual TOKENs, and provides a glimpse of the very earliest efforts in American publishing history of gilt-stamping on cloth.~Blanck lists this as the second writing by Hawthorne, after FANSHAWE, and Clark lists it under his "attributed to Hawthorne" section. Both Sanborn (1898) and Conway (1901) have written articles supporting Hawthorne's authorship of this tale, and it was included in the 1900 edition of Hawthorne's WORKS -- but his authorship is considered questionable by others. (Other contributors to this 1830 TOKEN include Nathaniel Parker Willis, Timothy Flint, Lydia Sigourney and Samuel Goodrich himself.)~This is a near-fine copy (minor erosion of the fragile silk at the extremities) -- quite remarkable condition for a volume bound so delicately. If Hawthorne's authorship were absolutely definite, rather than assumed and suspected, a volume so early in his career would command a price many times this copy's. Clark G25; Blanck 7571. Item #11551