Item #15284 DEEPHAVEN. Sarah Orne Jewett.


[her first book, FINE] Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1877. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in black and gilt, all page edges red.

First Edition of Sarah Orne Jewett's first book -- of which this is a copy in the first state (with "was" at page 65 line 16, later changed to "so"). The three earliest printings, all dated 1877 and consisting of 1280, 500 and 500 copies, do not designate the printing on the title page; thus it is unknown whether the two p. 65 states are 1780/500 copies or 1280/1000 copies. (There were also so-stated "fourth" and "fifth" printings dated 1877.)

The author, of South Berwick, Maine, first began writing these tales sited in the imaginary "Deephaven" for the Atlantic Monthly in 1868, when she was only nineteen. The book was an immediate success; it came at just the right moment, when the rage for genre regional studies of America was at its height and when fiction in general was at a low ebb. It made her famous at a bound; it sent her to Boston and New York and Philadelphia; it made her a friend of the "Boston circle," particularly of Howells, Lowell, Whittier, and Thomas Bailey Aldrich... [K&H]

This copy is in terra-cotta cloth; other copies were in green or mauve cloth (no priority). It is quite simply a fine, bright copy, without external soil or wear and with the spine gilt unusually bright. Inside, the leaves are clean and fresh; there is a trace of the almost-unavoidable surface-cracking of the original dark-green endpapers, but the volume is tight and quite-possibly never read. This is tough book to find in this condition, as it was cheaply produced with semi-flexible boards. Blanck 10871 (mentioning green or mauve cloth, but not this terra-cotta). Housed in a cloth clamshell case with morocco label. Provenance: bookplate of Bruce Lisman, from his renowned collection sold at Christie's. Item #15284

Price: $975.00