Item #15361 A WAIF OF THE PLAINS. [inscribed]. Bret Harte.
A WAIF OF THE PLAINS. [inscribed]

A WAIF OF THE PLAINS. [inscribed]

Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1890. Original royal blue cloth decorated in black, page edges stained orange.

First American Edition, published about two months after the edition in London (where Harte was then living). This copy is from the first printing, with (across from the title page) this title priced at $1.25 -- which would soon be reduced to $1.00. Harte was still trying to "mine" frontier tales, despite having permanently moved to Great Britain (without his wife and children) in 1878: this novel tells of the orphan Susy traveling the Oregon Trail in the summer of 1852 (three years later, Harte would continue her saga with SUSY: A STORY OF THE PLAINS).

This copy is in good-to-very good condition (some whitish marks on the covers, minor shelf-wear, volume askew). Blanck 7350.

Provenance: the front free endpaper bears Harte's inscription "Mrs Myers | from | Bret Harte | London, July 1890". Eveleen Tennant (1856-1937) in 1888 embarked on a career as a self-taught photographer -- the same year that she married the classicist, poet and psychical researcher Frederick William Henry Myers. She also was the subject of numerous paintings, by artists such as Watts and Millais. (The National Portrait Gallery holds 203 examples of this photographic pioneer's work, as well as 30 paintings with herself as subject.) On the paste-down of this volume is her bookplate (an early example of the "return this book to me!" bookplate); the less-than-fine condition of this volume implies that not all her borrowers knew how to take care of books. Item #15361

Price: $250.00

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