San Francisco: Henry Keller & Co., 1877. Original green cloth, beveled.
First Trade (and generally the first obtainable) Edition of this very early (and very amusing) Bierce piece, which was preceded only by the three 1873-1874 titles written by "Dod Grile." The "dance of death" is none other than the waltz, "a dance that causes nothing but trouble... a source of moral decay and death, the death of marriages" [Knighton].
The true first edition, consisting only of "Author's Copies" (also San Francisco 1877 but not so indicated) is "the rarest of Bierce's productions" [Starrett], so this revised edition is welcomed by many Bierce collectors as a most-acceptable substitute. Bierce and Harcourt collaborated on it; "William Herman" was William Herman Rulofson, Harcourt's father-in-law, who financed it.
This is one of the uncommon copies bound withOUT the "Author to the Public" note at the end: since this note was the principal addition to the trade edition, many collectors prefer copies like this one, because such copies more closely parallel the true first. Nearfine condition (one fore-corner bumped, very slightly rubbed). Blanck 1105.
Provenance: bookplate of the major Californiana collector Thomas Wayne Norris (1878-1952), who was a resident of Sonoma, Salinas, Livermore and Carmel; while in Livermore he was President of Coast Mfg. & Supply, explosive fuses. Item #14465