[unopened, in original boards] In Two Volumes. By the Author of The Pioneers, Pilot, &c. New-York: Published by Charles Wiley | D. Fanshaw, Printer, 1825 [1824 in Vol II]. Original drab paper-covered boards with printed spine labels.
First Edition of this "Legend of the Thirteen Republics" (per the fly-titles). This was Cooper's fifth book, following PRECAUTION (1820), THE SPY (1821), THE PIONEERS (1823) and THE PILOT (1824). After this Cooper decided that he would launch a series of thirteen novels of historical fiction, one for each of the original colonies -- beginning here with Massachusetts. Set during the Revolutionary War, Lionel Lincoln was a Boston-born member of a British noble family -- who accordingly faced conflicts and split loyalties during the War. Neither Cooper nor the public thought much of this novel, so he abandoned the project -- and with his next novel, would hit a home run (get it? -- Cooperstown?) with THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1826).~LIONEL LINCOLN first came out in two volumes in New York, as here, on February 5, 1825; later in February it was published in three volumes by John Miller in London. As Blanck points out, it is curious how significantly the two title pages differ from each other: first and foremost, Vol I is dated 1825 and Vol II is dated 1824; but also, "In Two Volumes" appears in Vol I only, there is no "The" before "Pioneers" in Vol II, and "Vol I" and "Vol II" are in very different fonts.~As with all copies, page 96 in Vol II is mispaginated "56"; at the bottom of page 121 of the same volume, "opinion" and the signature mark "11" are here properly printed (indicating that this was one of the earlier copies in the print run, but meaning nothing as to which copies actually reached the public first).~This set is still, remarkably, in the publisher's original boards-and-label binding -- a fragile binding that was meant to be temporary, until the buyer arranged something more permanent (half-leather) with a bookbinder. The leaves in these particular volumes not only are uncut but are still unopened. Condition is very good-plus -- both volumes have a little wear at the spine ends, and Vol II has some string-indents in the edges of its front board. This condition is about as advantageous as is possible for this pair of volumes in original binding. Blanck 3832; Spiller & Blackburn 6. Item #13751