| The Pension Beaurépas | A Bundle of Letters. [In Two Volumes.] London: Macmillan and Co., 1881. 24 pp Vol II ads dated Jan 1881. Original dark blue-green cloth decorated in black and gilt.
First English Edition of the first and third tale listed; first edition of "The Pension Beaurépas." "Washington Square," one of James's best-known tales, is a bleak story set in New York City, about a girl victimized by the two men in her life: her father threatens to disinherit her if she marries her penniless suitor, and the suitor is interested in her only for her potential inheritance from her father. She "survives" this Catch-22 predicament only by disavowing all emotion and affection in life.~"Washington Square" alone was first published in book form by Harper (New York 1881, though actually published in December 1880). "A Bundle of Letters" was published in wrappers (without authorization) in January 1880, by Loring of Boston.~The first impression (500 copies) of this U. K. edition was published in January 1881, bound in dark blue-green cloth and with a (curious) December 1879 ad catalogue; a second impression of 250 copies was issued in March, with the mispagination at the end of Vol II corrected, bound in reddish-brown cloth and without an ad catalogue.~This set is from the second impression, with the mispagination corrected, but it is in the first-impression binding of dark blue-green cloth and includes a January 1881 ad catalogue; the endpapers are chocolate brown. Condition is very good-plus: as usual with these Macmillan multi-volume James works, there are some spots of wear along the outer joints (since the spines bulk wider than the rest of the volumes); the spines are slightly askew, and there is faint evidence of the prior presence of a label on each front cover (and of two on each front endpaper). That said, the cloth is quite clean and the spine gilt remains bright. This is quite collectible condition for a James two-volume title. Supino 15.4.5; Edel & Laurence A15b (see final note, referring to this "hybrid"). Item #12594