Item #14983 CONFIDENCE. Henry Jr James.


[a fine copy] Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1880. Original green cloth, beveled.

First American Edition, which consisted of 1500 copies -- issued two months after the 500-copy English two-decker (which is now quite scarce).

And what is interesting is that in the ensuing weeks [following his brother William's marriage], Henry wrote his worst novel... it bears the uncommonly ineffectual title of CONFIDENCE. Its plot is like an old eighteenth century comedy, or a theme for a strange three-figure ballet, in which two young men... become involved with a woman named Angela. First, one of the young men loves Angela; she rejects him and he marries someone else. Then the other young man wants to marry her. She accepts him, and in the climax there is much dashing about and a frantic scene of jealousy in which the first young man offers to divorce his wife if Angela will still have him... [Edel]

This copy is in the primary binding (which comes in either green or terra-cotta, without priority), with "Houghton, Osgood & Co." rather than the later "Houghton Mifflin & Co." at the foot of the spine. This is a remarkably fine, bright copy, with just the merest hint of speckling of the green cloth. Although CONFIDENCE has not been as difficult to find as some of the other early James titles, copies like this are becoming rather scarce. Supino 11.4.0; Edel & Laurence A11b. Provenance: the front flyleaf and the title margin bear the penciled signature of the first owner -- J[ohn]. H[enry]. Oglesby [1822-1888], signed in New Orleans on July 4, 1880. Item #14983

Price: $650.00

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