“THE MOST NEARLY COMPLETE EDITION OF COOPER’S WORKS EVER ISSUED IN THIS COUNTRY”: HANDSOME SET OF JAMES FENIMORE COOPER’S WORKS IN 34 VOLUMES
COOPER, James Fenimore. Works. New York: Stringer & Townsend; William A. Townsend; James G. Gregory, 1856-1864. Thirty-four volumes. Small octavo, contemporary three-quarter tan calf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, green and black morocco spine labels, marbled boards, endpapers, and edges. $3200.
Early mixed edition of Cooper’s complete works, uniformly bound in beautiful contemporary calf gilt.
Cooper did not begin his literary career until the age of 30, when his wife challenged his claim that he could produce a better novel than the English novel he had been reading to her. His first book, Precaution (1820), was only modestly successful; his second book, The Spy (1821), was a great success and established his reputation as a leading American author. “Cooper’s achievement… was sustained almost to the close of a hectic, crowded career. His worldwide fame attests his power of invention, for his novels have been popular principally for their variety of dramatic incidents, vivid depiction of romantic scenes and situations, and adventurous plots” (Hart, 165). Volume VIII, The Pioneers, was published by James G. Gregory in 1864; the majority of the volumes are from Stringer and Townsend’s “New Edition” (1852-1854). The balance of volumes, published by William Townsend, are from “the most nearly complete edition of Cooper’s works ever issued in this country. It contains all of the titles included in the ‘New Edition’ of Stringer and Townsend and is printed from the same plates. [The novel] The Ways of the Hour has been added” (Spiller & Blackburn, Collected Works 4 ). Spiller & Blackburn, Collected Works 4-5 (169-71). Owner signatures.
Interiors fine; only light rubbing to contemporary bindings. A beautiful set.