“PIECES OF EIGHT! PIECES OF EIGHT!”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF STEVENSON’S TREASURE ISLAND
STEVENSON, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. London: Cassell, 1883. Small octavo, full period-style calf gilt, red and green morocco spine labels, raised bands, marbled endpapers, original green cloth covers bound in.
First edition, first issue, of Stevenson’s swashbuckling yarn of piracy, mutiny and courage, “the finest tale of maritime adventure that has been told since Defoe” (Prideaux, 28).
"Inspired by a detailed map of an island that Stevenson and his stepson drew one rainy day, with hidden treasure and cryptic instructions reverently included… Treasure Island is best enjoyed as its author intended, simply as a good tale well told" (Silvey, 631). The serial publication in Young Folks (running through January 1882) was not especially well-received, but on its appearance in book form the following year in an edition of only 2000 copies, the story was hailed as the best tale of adventure in print. "The force of invention and vividness of narrative appealed to every reader" (DNB). "Here were adventure, suspense, drama, all set down by the hand of a recognizable genius" (Meigs et al., 238). First issue, with all the following points: "Dead Man's Chest" not capitalized on pages 2 and 7; "rain" for "vain" on last line of page 40; "a" lacking on page 63, line 6; the "7" in the pagination of page 127 is present, but bold; period dropped from page 178, line 20 (after "opportunity"); "worse" for 'worst' on page 197, line 3; frontispiece map in three colors. With eight-page publisher's catalogue dated 5R-1083 at the end, and with this title listed incorrectly as having 304 pages. Issued in various colors of cloth, no priority, here the original green cloth is bound into text. Beinecke 240. Prideaux 11. Gerstley Collection 22. Osborne, 1030. Gumuchian 5443. Pierpoint Morgan, Children's Literature 241. Ink owner signatures, including on half title. Ink marks on page 112.
Text expertly cleaned, a very good copy of a rare work, beautifully bound.