Item #13536 VIRGINIBUS PUERISQUE and Other Papers. Robert Louis Stevenson.


London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1881. 32 pp ads dated July 1881. Original orange cloth decorated in black, beveled.

First Edition, first issue, of Stevenson's first volume of collected essays (which had appeared in periodicals such as The Cornhill during the late 1870s). These essays epitomize Stevenson's early expository style.

It is good to have been young in youth and, as years go on, to grow older... These papers are like milestones on the wayside of my life... [from this book's dedication to W.E. Henley]

The title essay (Latin for "For Girls and Boys"), which he wrote in 1876 (as his relationship with Mrs. Sitwell was waning, before he met Fanny Osbourne), is largely upon the subject of marriage.

The first issue is identifiable by the "C. Kegan Paul & Co." at the foot of the spine -- the same as on the title page; later copies bound up read "Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.," reflecting the firm's change of name, and still later copies read "Chatto & Windus" after that firm bought up Kegan Paul. The book was not a hot seller: it is known that by 1884 (when Chatto & Windus issued the remaining copies), only 900 copies had been sold (first and second bindings combined). The ads in this copy are dated July 1881, some copies have April 1881 ads (the month of publication), while others have leftover ads from 1880, or (as implied above) ads from later years.

This is a very good-plus copy, with some cracking of the endpapers and (as usual with the unfortunate choice of cloth color) general dulling of the light-orange spine. Beinecke 70 (with 8/80 ads); Princeton 12 (copy 2, 7/81 ads). Housed in a cloth clamshell case. Item #13536

Price: $225.00

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