Original drawing of Walt Whitman. no date, no place, 19th century
This original pen and ink drawing of Walt Whitman is mounted at the front of an 1888 edition of Leaves of Grass. The likeness of a jaunty, casual, Whitman wearing his trademark slouch hat takes its cue from the famous 1855 Hollyer engraving, but here we see an older Whitman with a full beard.
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.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
Hyperion: A Romance. New York: Samuel Colman, 1839
Hyperion is one of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s first published works. It was published in 1839, and is a prose romance that follows a young American named Paul Flemming as he travels through Germany. The journey of the character is partially inspired by the death of a friend, and the romance in the tale is based on Longfellow’s own failed marriage proposals to his beloved.
Works. Chapman and Hall, [1870s]
A very handsome set of the famous “Illustrated Library Edition,” here in an early printing. The dedication at the front of the first volume (Pickwick Papers) states, “This the best edition of my books is, of right, inscribed to my dear friend John Forster, biographer of Oliver Goldsmith, in affectionate acknowledgment of his counsel, sympathy, and faithful friendship during my whole literary life.” “The Library Edition came about largely because of the suggestion of Forster that while Dickens’s works were available in volumes in the Cheap Edition and in reprints of the serial parts, there was no high-quality edition that would appeal to the wealthy. Dickens eventually came round to the idea that an elegant edition could raise the stature of his writings.
“the first attempt at a comprehensive dictionary of Americanisms” - presentation copy with annotationsBARTLETT, JOHN RUSSELL
Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases, Usually Regarded as Peculiar to the United States. New York: Bartlett & Welford, 1848
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY inscribed and signed by Bartlett to S. A. Hammett in the year of publication, with a presentation letter and with Hammett’s copious annotations.
This is one of the first great books devoted to American English. Mencken called it “the first attempt at a comprehensive dictionary of Americanisms.” This fascinating dictionary incudes a very early entry on the game of poker (“a favorite game of cards among Southern gamblers.”
Washington Irving. Mr. Bryant’s address on his life and genius. Addresses by Everett, Bancroft, Longfellow, Felton, Aspinwall, King, Francis, Greene. Mr. Allibone’s sketch of his life and works. With eight photographs. New York: Putnam, 1860
First edition. Presentation copy inscribed by the published to S. Austin Allibone, who contributed the sketch of Irving’s life and works. Allibone ewas a leading American editor, author, and bibliographer who is best known for his Critical Dictionary of English Literature and British and American Authors. Other contributors include Longfellow, Bryant, Everett, and Bancroft.
(MAGRITTE, RENÉ.) Mesens, E. L. T
Troisième front poèmes de guerre suivi de pièces detachés. Third front & detached pieces. London Gallery Editions, 1944
FIRST EDITION. Copy number 18 of 500 signed and numbered by Mesens. Inscribed to René Magritte and his wife: “A Georgette Magritte A René Magritte, l’exemplaire réservé pour lui, sa Femme, Noukels et Barfoot, depuis 1944. E. M.”
Notes and Fragments: left by Walt Whitman and now edited by Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke, one of his literary executors. Printed for Private Distribution Only, 1899
FIRST EDITION. One of 225 numbered copies signed by Bucke. This work prints an extensive collection of manuscript fragments discovered among Whitman’s papers on his death.