Item #15259 CAPE COD. Henry Thoreau, avid.


[the E.R. Hoar / Doheny copy] Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865. 24 pp ads dated Dec 1864. Original blind-stamped purple cloth with gilt-decorated spine.

First Edition, first printing, which consisted of only 2,000 or 2,040 copies (of which some were sent to England to be issued with a cancel title page) -- printed in December 1864, but not actually published until late March 1865. Edited by the younger William Ellery Channing and by Thoreau's sister Sophia, this was the fifth Thoreau book, preceded by A WEEK ON THE CONCORD AND MERRIMACK RIVERS, WALDEN, and the posthumous EXCURSIONS and THE MAINE WOODS.

There were four different bindings used (differing in blind-stamping and in "author of" spine verbiage), and in seven different colors and grains of cloth -- without known priority; this copy is in Blanck's "binding A," and is in purple "Z" (triangular-grain) cloth.

This is a bright, near-fine copy (a trace of wear at the spine ends); the spine has generally browned -- as is typical for this purple cloth -- but the spine lettering remains quite bright. The original brown-coated endpapers are intact, and there is no foxing on the leaves within. This has become a difficult title to acquire in such condition. Borst A5.1.a, binding 2; Blanck 20115, binding A.

Provenance: both the front paste-down and the title page bear the signature "E.R. Hoar": Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (1816-1895) of Concord was a good friend of Thoreau and of Emerson, and in fact his sister Elizabeth was engaged (for a time) to Emerson's brother Charles. Hoar would be U.S. Attorney General in 1869-1870, and was the first Head of the newly-created Dept. of Justice. Three years before this book was published, Hoar was the dedicatee of James Russell Lowell's BIGLOW PAPERS: Second Series (1862). Also: the front paste-down bears the small leather bookplate of Estelle Doheny (from her sale at Christie's on 18 October 1988). Item #15259

Price: $2,450.00

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