BASED ON THE INFAMOUS “KENTUCKY TRAGEDY”: CHARLES HOFFMAN’S GREYSLAER, 1840
HOFFMAN, Charles Fenno. Greyslaer: A Romance of the Mohawk. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1840. Two volumes. Octavo, original blue-green embossed cloth, original paper spine labels. $600.
First American edition (published only days after the English edition) of Hoffman’s novel based on the revengeful murder of Kentucky Attorney-General Colonel Solomon Sharp in 1825.
The infamous “Kentucky Tragedy” involved prominent attorney Jereboam Beauchamp, whose wife, the former Ann Cook, had been sexually violated some years earlier by Kentucky Attorney-General, Colonel Solomon Sharp. Upon his wife’s ultimatum, Beauchamp avenged her dishonor by brutally murdering Sharp, for which he was found guilty and sentenced to death. On the fateful morning, Ann, who had been permitted to share her husband’s cell until the execution, proposed a double-suicide—he successfully assisted her and stabbed himself. He survived, however, to be hanged the following day. Hoffman based his Greyslaer on this unfortunate affair. This is the American edition, published just a few days after the English. BAL 8527. Wright I:1216.
A near-fine copy in original cloth.