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Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.
New York Harper & Brothers 1851 - First Edition of "Moby Dick" MELVILLE, Herman. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1851. First American edition (first published in three volumes in London under title: The Whale). Twelvemo. xxiii, [1, blank], 634, [1, "Epilogue"], [1, blank], [6, ads], [2, blank] pp. BAL first binding of publisher’s drab purple-brown "A" cloth. Covers stamped in blind with a heavy rule frame and publisher’s circular device at center, spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Original brown-orange coated endpapers. Double flyleaves at front and back. Endpapers with soiling from glue residue, as usual. Very foxed, p. 98-160 with what looks like a coffee stain to top right hand margin, not affecting text. Cloth, heavily rubbed along extremities, especially at top and bottom of spine. Housed in a custom burgundy cloth case. Overall, a good copy only. "[Melville’s] great book, Moby Dick, was a complete practical failure, misunderstood by the critics and ignored by the public; and in 1853 the Harpers’ fire destroyed the plates of all of his books and most of the copies remaining in stock [only about sixty copies survived the fire].Melville’s permanent fame must always rest on the great prose epic of Moby Dick, a book that has no equal in American literature for variety and splendor of style and for depth of feeling" (D.A.B. XII, pp. 522-526). "Moby Dick is the great conundrum-book. Is it a profound allegory with the white whale the embodiment of moral evil, or merely the finest story of the sea ever written?" (Grolier, 100 American). "The publishers used as their text Melville’s original manuscript. The Whale, as issued in London, was set from New York sheets, with Melville’s alterations" (BAL). "This book was expurgated for publication in England, the American text containing thirty-five passages not included in Bentley’s edition" (Sadleir, Excursions in Victorian Bibliography, p. 339). BAL 13664. Grolier, 100 American, 60. HBS 67670. $8,500 [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Heritage Book Shop, ABAA]
Last Found On: 2016-05-07           Check availability:      IberLibro    

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