“I am a person who would quit authorizing in a minute to go piloting, if the Madam would stand it. I would rather sink a steamboat than eat, any time” – Mark TwainTWAIN, MARK
Life on the Mississippi. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1883
FIRST EDITION, FIRST STATE, in the original deluxe binding.
Autograph letter signed to Henry W. Dommett. Concord, February 4, 1864
Hawthorne writes, “I have copied the passage from the Threefold Destiny according to your request, and shall forward the package By express, tomorrow (Friday) morning.” Hawthorne adds in an initialed postscript that he was unsure whether to send the letter to Dommett in Boston or in New York and chose Boston. Dommett was the longtime art critic for the New York Mail and author of A History of the Bank of New York, 1784–1884 (1884).
WATSON, JAMES D
The Double Helix. In Atlantic Monthly. Boston, January and February 1968
FIRST EDITION of The Double Helix, preceding the publication in book form in late February 1968. Signed by James Watson on the front cover of each issue.
Of Population. An Enquiry Concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind. Being an Answer to Mr. Malthus’s Essay on that Subject. London: Longman, 1820
FIRST EDITION. In 1798 Thomas Robert Malthus published his Essay on the Principle of Population in response to William Godwin’s ideas about the “perfectibility of society” advanced in Political Justice (1793). This is Malthus’s reply.
Lao Tseu Tao Te King. Le Livre de la Voie et de la Vertu . . . traduit en Francais… par Stanislaus Julien. Paris: l’Imprimerie Royale, 1842
FIRST EDITION of the complete Tao Te Ching to be published in a Western language.
“The best book for young folks that ever was written” – Harriet Beecher Stowe on The Prince and the PauperTWAIN, MARK
The Prince and the Pauper. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1882
FIRST EDITION. A departure from Twain’s previous novels, this tale of sixteenth-century England was intended as a work for children and the family circle. The book is illustrated with nearly 200 wood engravings. Twain declared that the boys in those illustrations “look and dress exactly as I used to cast them in my mind … It is a vast pleasure to see them cast in the flesh, so to speak.”
Leaves of Grass. New York: [for Walt Whitman], 1867
This is the fourth Leaves of Grass. The failure of Thayer & Eldridge, publisher of the third edition (Boston, 1860), left Whitman in search of a publisher. The poet decided that the events of the Civil War called for another reimagining of Leaves of Grass. Whitman returned to his earlier practice and financed the publication himself, engaging the New York printer William E. Chapin. For the first time, the 1867 Leaves opened with the poem “Inscription,” which introduced the book in subsequent editions.