Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1873. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in blind and gilt.
First Edition of Alcott's first full-fledged novel for adults, in which she portrays the difficulties and rewards of 21-year-old Christie Devon leaving home to make her own way (and WORK) in the real world. The book "describes in relentless detail the wretched working conditions of her day, and perhaps it is not too much to say that, with her zeal as a reformer, her little novel did almost as much to improve the lot of the working girl as any of the labor agitators" [Worthington]. Though Christie starts out working several odd jobs, she ultimately becomes an activist for social justice and women's rights. Included are illustrations by Sol Eytinge.~This copy is in terra-cotta cloth (copies were bound also in purple or green, without precedence); it is in very good condition, with light soil and with some wear at the spine ends. There is an August 1873 flyleaf inscription from Rye Beach NH. Blanck 173 (noting the possibility that the London edition could have preceded this by a day or two): as with other copies we have had, this copy's original endpapers are teal-grey coated (though Blanck cites brown-coated endpapers). Item #13254