[the fine Currie / Sendak copy] London: Macmillan and Co., 1885. 2 pp undated Vol III ads. Original dark blue-green cloth.
First Edition, which consisted of only 500 copies. These three volumes consist of fourteen tales here "revived," that James had written some years earlier -- most from the 1870s, with some from the 1860s. Eight of them had been collected in America, either in A PASSIONATE PILGRIM (1875) or in THE AUTHOR OF BELTRAFFIO (1885, three months earlier). The other six appear here in book form for the first time: "A Day of Days," "A Landscape Painter," "Rose-Agathe," "Poor Richard," "Master Eustace" and "A Most Extraordinary Case." As James points out in his Vol I "Notice," "... these earlier stories have been in every case minutely revised and corrected -- many passages being wholly rewritten."
This set is in Supino's binding "B" (E&L's binding "b"), with the "V" larger than the "OL" on the spines, and with blue mosaic-patterned endpapers (no known priority between the two bindings). These volumes are remarkably bright, and except for a trace of rubbing at some edges, they are FINE (but see the note about bookplates below). Supino 27.2.0; Edel & Laurence A27a; Blanck 10573; Sadleir 1290.
Provenance: First, on the verso of the front free endpaper of all three volumes is the bookplate of Barton Wood Currie (1877-1962), the noted journalist, book collector, and author (including FISHERS OF BOOKS, his 1931 book about his own bibliomania). His book-collecting included a close relationship with Dr. Rosenbach -- for example, he bought from Rosenbach many Joseph Conrad manuscripts which Rosenbach had acquired at the John Quinn sale. (A Currie provenance always carries with it the minor negative that he applied his bookplates with a healthy amount of old mucilage glue, which seeped out around the edges and bled through the leaf.)
The second provenance is that this set is from the personal library of author Maurice Sendak: he did not often sign or affix bookplates (and none is here), but included with this set is a certificate from the auction house identifying this as Lot 48 in the February 2023 sale of Sendak's library -- "sold on behalf of the Rosenbach Museum." Item #15214