IMPORTANT NEW YORK EDITION OF HENRY JAMES’ WORKS, WITH PHOTOGRAVURES BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN, HANDSOMELY BOUND IN CONTEMPORARY MOROCCO-GILT
JAMES, Henry. The Novels and Tales. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1907-17. Twenty-six volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter red morocco gilt, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut and partially unopened.
Important “New York Edition” (trade issue) of Henry James’ works, with 26 beautiful frontispiece photogravures by Alvin Langdon Coburn and special prefaces prepared by James specifically for this edition, handsomely bound in contemporary morocco-gilt.
“While James had contemplated a collected edition of his works as early as 1900, serious discussions of the idea did not start until 1904… A number of publishers were considered… but James ‘cherished’ the idea of Scribners,” likely because they had published or were publishing the collected works of Robert Louis Stevenson, George Meredith and other authors James admired. The collection was to be “a ‘testamentary act,’ an edition definitive, one that would… ensure James’ place as a master of fiction on the level of Balzac.” A tumultuous publication history ensued, and “it is not an exaggeration to say that the public reception of The New York Edition… was a financial and emotional disaster for James” (Supino, 397-400). Time has, however, viewed this edition far more favorably, prizing it for not only for James’ specially prepared, insightful prefaces but also Coburn’s photogravure frontispieces. Selected by James himself, they include landscape and architectural views, and a portrait of the author in the first volume. Recognized for his distinctive photographs of cities and people, Coburn helped found the Photo-Secession Group of photographers. He won renown for his works’ misty atmosphere and his portraits of prominent artists and writers; those of Henry James rank among his most memorable. With almost all of James’ major novels, as well as many of his shorter works, including two (Fordham Castle and The Jolly Corner) appearing here for the first time in book form. Volumes I through XXIV were meticulously revised by James for this edition.This set includes the final two volumes called for in a complete, 26-volume set. Because they were published posthumously, eight years after the last of the rest, they are scarce and often missing and contain the last of James’ writings before his death. This edition also published simultaneously in a large paper issue limited to 156 numbered copies. BAL 10665. Phillips, 120. Edel and Laurence A64a. Supino 64.1.0.
Some spines with minor soiling; tiny abrasion to spine of Volume XVI. About-fine condition.