Item #15478 THE TOUCHSTONE. Edith Wharton.


[her first novel] New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1900. 2 pp undated ads. Original dark grey-green paper-covered boards with spine decorated in gilt.

First Edition of Edith Wharton's first novel (actually a novella). This was her fourth book overall, preceded by VERSES (1878), THE DECORATION OF HOUSES (1897) and THE GREATER INCLINATION (short stories - 1899); about six months later this was published in England as A GIFT FROM THE GRAVE, because the American title had already been used by another English author. THE TOUCHSTONE

showed the influence of Henry James both in its form as a novelette and in its occupation with ethical values. It is concerned with a man torn between his desire to obtain money to marry the woman he loves, and his reluctance to sell the love letters written to him by a celebrated woman [OCAL].

This is a fine, bright copy of this handsome book (printed at the Merrymount Press); there is a 1900 signature on the front endpaper. Since these early Wharton books were bound in fragile paper-covered boards, rather than in cloth, copies in this condition are infrequently encountered. Garrison A4.I.a. Item #15478

Price: $350.00