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2014-08-17 03:31:11
Lowell, James Russell
1845 - [a remarkably fine copy] Cambridge: Published by John Owen, 1845. Original cream wrappers decorated (lithographed) in dark green, red-orange and gold. First Edition of this early first edition by Lowell. The edition consisted of 1000 copies, and within three months Lowell wrote to a friend "You will be glad to hear that the first edition of my 'Conversations' are gone already. I begin to feel rich." (He received ten cents for each copy sold.) Though it consists of his "conversations" (really critical essays) with "old poets" such as Chaucer, these pieces served as a vehicle for Lowell to convey his pleas for the abolition of slavery. The book was published either in December 1844 or January 1845 (Livingston believes the latter), during the very same time that Lowell and Maria White were wed (December 26th) and promptly headed to Philadelphia where Lowell had lined up editorial work with the abolitionist periodical Pennsylvania Freeman. The elaborate lithographed design on the wrapper of this book was, in fact, by his fiancée. (There was a "Second Edition" dated 1846, which extended the text by a few pages.)~This is a remarkable copy, still in the original fragile wrappers and still just about fine (light rubbing, small mark on several preliminary leaves). A note penciled onto the front free endpaper reads "one of the finest copies known," and that is certainly true. Livingston pp 18-19. Provenance: with the tipped-in bookplate of noted collector Frank Fletcher (1870-1954). Housed in a morocco-backed slipcase with inner chemise. [Attributes: First Edition; Soft Cover]
Bookseller: Sumner & Stillman [ABAA]
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