[large-paper copy] Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1871. Original green cloth decorated in gilt, beveled, all page edges gilt.
First Edition, large-paper copy. This play-in-verse-form is actually what Longfellow considered to be Part I of a trilogy, the other two parts of which had already been published. It had to do with Christendom through the ages -- the Apostolic, Middle and Modern Ages. THE GOLDEN LEGEND (1851) constituted Part II, and THE NEW ENGLAND TRAGEDIES (1868) Part III.
Osgood issued 8,000 regular copies, plus 2,000 large-paper copies (he advertised it as "The Fine Edition") -- each in a choice of green, purple or terra-cotta. This copy is green, with all page edges gilt -- a feature Blanck does not mention for either format, so it may have been an option for which buyers paid extra. Condition is bright and near-fine, with a couple of short nicks at the head of the spine. Considering that 2,000 large-paper copies were issued, they are surprisingly uncommon today -- especially with gilt page edges. Blanck 12157. Item #14684