The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon. Nos. I-VII. New York: Van Winkle, 1819-1820
FIRST EDITIONS, FIRST PRINTINGS. The Sketch Book contains the first printings of the immortal tales “Rip Van Winkle” (in Part I) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (in Part VII), among others. This series of tales, published in seven parts in 1819-20, brought Washington Irving instant fame and made him America’s first international literary star. This set contains the uncorrected text points indicating the first printings, as noted in BAL.
ANDERSEN, HANS CHRISTIAN
Nye Eventyr. [-Anden Samling]. Copenhagen: Reitzel, 1844-45
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE (i.e. title dated 1844 and without indication of later parts or a general title page). A landmark of world literature, this collection contains the first printings of the works that brought Andersen international fame, including “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Snow Queen.”
WELLS, H. G
The War of the Worlds. London: Heinemann, 1898
FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM, FIRST ISSUE, of “the great classic of interplanetary invasion” (Bleiler), ensured the author’s place as a “father of science fiction.” Wells’s “scientific romances (as they came to be called) remain unsurpassed for their imagination and visionary power” (ODNB).
“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).
“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.”