“IT IS WISE TO BE SPARING OF OUR PLEDGES, AND TO SAY NO MORE THAN THE OCCASION REQUIRES”: VERY RARE FIRST EDITION OF JAMES FENIMORE COOPER’S THE RED ROVER, PUBLISHED IN PARIS DURING HIS SOJOURN THERE
(COOPER, James Fenimore). The Red Rover, a Tale. By the Author of The Pilot, etc., etc. Paris: Hector Bossange, 1827. Three volumes. Small octavo, early full black polished calf, gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, marbled endpapers and edges. $6800.
First edition, published in Paris during Cooper's extended visit to France, preceding both the English and American editions, of Cooper’s eighth novel, a maritime adventure, handsomely bound.
In the 1820s Cooper established himself as the leading American novelist with the successful publication and popularity of The Pilot (1824) and especially The Last of the Mohicans (1826). "Though Cooper's financial problems had been severe, by 1826 he had solved them" (ANB). As a result of brisk sales of his novels, in 1826 "Cooper then fulfilled a longstanding desire to take his family to Europe. He stopped briefly in London to arrange for the publication of the as yet unfinished Prairie and went on to Paris, where he remained until February 1828. He completed The Prairie there and also wrote The Red Rover (1827). Cooper's reputation had preceded him to Europe, and he soon found himself moving in the best Paris society" (ANB). Red Rover was written during Cooper's stay in Paris, right after he completed publication of The Prairie. The story concerns a pirate and a young officer in the British Navy who is tasked with apprehending him in the Americas. The two find common ground and the pirate, Red Rover, is ultimately shown to be as principled as his Navy counterparts. Red Rover, the second of Cooper's maritime novels, is one of American literature's most powerful love letters to life at sea. Bound with half titles. This first edition precedes the London first English edition of 1827 and the first American edition published in Philadelphia in 1828. BAL 3837. See Spiller & Blackburn A9. Bookplate.
Text quite clean with only occasional faint foxing; early calf-gilt bindings with a touch of rubbing to a few joints, sound and handsome. An excellent copy of this rarity.