“HALF-WAY DOWN A BY-STREET OF ONE OF OUR NEW ENGLAND TOWNS, STANDS A RUSTY WOODEN HOUSE…”: FIRST EDITION OF HAWTHORNE’S HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES, IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel. The House of the Seven Gables, A Romance. Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1851. Octavo, original blind-stamped brown cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
First edition, first printing, of Hawthorne’s tale of an early 19th-century household “solitary, declining, haunted by an ancestral curse,” in original cloth.
“The House of the Seven Gables was an extended description of such houses and households as [Hawthorne] had dealt with in many of his sketches. This house was described from an actual house in Salem, and this household was in some respects like the household of Hawthorne’s own youth— withdrawn, solitary, declining, haunted by an ancestral curse… With The House of the Seven Gables Hawthorne said farewell to the Salem in which he had grown up” (DAB). One of 1690 copies printed in April 1851. With battered type on page 149 and all other typographical points of the first printing called for by Clark. Binding A. With advertisements (bound between front endpapers) dated “March 1851” and in printing B (no sequence established). Clark A17.1.a. BAL 7604. Owner signature.
Text generally quite clean and fresh. Original cloth with a bit of wear to spine head, corners lightly bumped, minor discoloration to boards. A near-fine copy.