“BUT TRUTH IS SIMPLE, AND WILL NOT BE ANTIQUE: IS EVER PRESENT, AND INSISTS ON BEING OF THIS AGE, AND OF THIS MOMENT”: EMERSON’S ILLUSTRATED COMPLETE WORKS, FINELY BOUND WITH SIGNED AUTOGRAPH NOTE
EMERSON, Ralph Waldo. Complete Works. Twelve volumes. WITH: Journals. Ten volumes. Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1903-04, 1909-14. Together, twenty-two volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $9800.
“Autograph Centenary” edition of Emerson's Works, together with his Journals, each number 158 of 600 copies, illustrated with 56 photogravures, with an autograph note tipped in Volume I of the Works requesting volumes by the French philosopher de Gerando.
This edition includes all of Emerson's poems, lectures, biographical sketches, letters, and his famous essays, several of which are here printed for the first time. Their "ethical inspiration and stimulation, their occasional startling phrase, their individualistic idealism, which stirred renascent Yankee New England to its depths, speaks with the same simple power and force in the midst of modern complexities" (Grolier, American 100 47). Tipped into Volume I of the Works is a section of a signed autograph letter, reading, "Degerando—Ananyse Compare des Systemes de Philosophie / Degerando On Moral Perfection__ / If there by any other metaphysical [struck out] philosophical works of this writer, I should like to have them sent. R.W.E. London July 21, 18__. RW Emerson." The date of this letter is unclear: Emerson was known to have read de Gerando in 1830—it was a significant influence on his seminal Nature—but did not visit London until 1833. Owner inkstamps.
Spines evenly toned to brown. Just a few joints lightly rubbed. A beautiful set.