An Essay Concerning Humane Understanding. London: Printed by Eliz. Holt, for Thomas Basset, 1690
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (with the integral Eliz. Holt title-page). An excellent, fresh copy of this classic of philosophy, the first modern attempt to analyze knowledge. “Few books in the literature of philosophy have so widely represented the spirit of the age and country in which they have appeared, or have so influenced opinion afterwards” (Fraser).
On the Road. New York: The Viking Press, 1957
FIRST EDITION. With a long inscription from Kerouac to William Targ, noted bookman, editor, and publisher: “To William Targ From Jack Kerouac 12/9/68. How about a first edition of Compleat Visions of Cody to be published by Putnams 1969??? — or, maybe A Nest of Ninnies be better??? Regards, JK.”
MCKENNEY, THOMAS L. AND JAMES HALL
History of the Indian Tribes of North America. With biographical sketches and anecdotes of the principal chiefs. Philadelphia: Rice & Clark; London: Gilpin, [1842-1844]
This is a gorgeous copy of this landmark of American publishing history, “one of the most costly and important ever published on the American Indians” (Field).
“Gulliver’s Travels has given Swift an immortality beyond temporary fame” --Printing and the Mind of ManSWIFT, JONATHAN
Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World . . . by Lemuel Gulliver. London: Benj. Motte, 1726
FIRST EDITION. This is a handsome set of Teerink’s A edition, the true first edition.
TANNER, [HENRY SCHENK]
A New American Atlas containing maps of the several states of the North American union … Projected and Drawn on a Uniform Scale …. Philadelphia: H. S. Tanner, 1823
First edition of “the most distinguished atlas published in the United States during the engraving period” (Ristow). Tanner’s greatest work, A New American Atlas was painstakingly produced and issued in installments between 1818 and 1823. Few complete sets have survived. Tanner’s use of a uniform scale of 15 geographical miles to the inch and his careful selection of sources resulted in a comprehensive American atlas of unprecedented detail and reliability which was the standard by which American atlases were measured until the modern era. This was by a considerable margin the greatest American atlas up to its time.
Commentaries on the Laws of England. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1765-1769
First edition of Blackstone’s Commentaries, a monument of the Anglo-American legal and political system and one of the key influences on the thought of the Founding Fathers and the shaping of the Constitution.
A Dictionary of the English Language. London: W. Strahan for J. & P. Knapton, 1755
First edition of this enduring classic of English literature. This is Johnson’s “audacious attempt to tame his unruly native tongue … combining huge erudition with a steely wit and remarkable clarity of thought” (Hitchings).
Leviathan, or the Matter, Forme, & Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill. London: for Andrew Crooke, 1651
FIRST EDITION. The first edition has the head ornament on the title-page. The bear and triangle ornaments are found on the later editions, which are sometimes mistakenly referred to as later issues.
“at once the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America.” - Harvey Mansfield on Democracy in AmericaTOCQUEVILLE, ALEXIS DE
De la Democratie en Amerique. Paris: Charles Gosselin, 1835, 1840
FIRST EDITIONS. The most influential commentary on America in the nineteenth century, Democracy in America was based on Tocqueville’s travels in the United States in 1831 and 1832. Tocqueville came to America to study the American prison system on behalf of the French government. The book resulting from these investigations is generally considered the 19th century’s most insightful commentary on the development of our unique American culture and political system.
POE, EDGAR ALLAN
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque. Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1840
FIRST EDITION, one of only 750 sets printed. Poe’s first collection of prose, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque contains many of Poe’s finest tales including “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “MS. Found in a Bottle.”