DAISY MILLER. A Study. Henry Jr James.


New York: Harper & Brothers, n.d. [1880?]. 4 pp preliminary ads plus 12 pp ads, all undated. Original flexible green cloth stamped in black and red.

First Edition, issued as No. 82 in Harper's "Half-Hour Series." This is the tale of Daisy and her newly-rich mother, from Schenectady New York, vacationing in Switzerland among Europeans and Americans who ostracize them because of their ignorance of social convention:

James's observation of her compatriots is excellent, an acute and witty comment on Americans abroad who have so hurriedly embraced the 'other' culture that they can no longer recognize the virtues of their own. Daisy's innocence offends them because they have forgotten that it can exist. [CGEL]

After first appearing serially in Cornhill Magazine in June-July 1878, this American edition was the first to come out, in November of that year (but with its title page dated 1879); the two-volume English edition (with two other tales) did not come out until February 1879.

This copy is from an early impression (sixth and final?), with 145 "Half-Hour" titles (including this one) listed in the preliminary ads; the dated first impression lists only 79 titles, and subsequent (undated) impressions list 94, 100, 120, 130 or (as here) 145 titles. Copies were issued in wrappers (at 20 cents) as well as in this cloth (at 35 cents); on this copy the spine lettering is in black (on some it is red -- no priority known).

This is a near-fine copy of this small, fragile volume, slightly rubbed at the extremities. This has become quite a scarce James first edition, the first impression of which has become quite expensive (for example the Bradley Martin copy sold in 1990 for $17,600). Supino 8.7.0 (with an ownership signature dated 1880); Edel & Laurence A8a. Item #14330

Price: $675.00

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