"YO-HO-HO, AND A BOTTLE OF RUM!": RARE AND BEAUTIFUL FIRST EDITION OF THE DEFINITIVE PIRATE ADVENTURE STORY, TREASURE ISLAND, 1883
STEVENSON, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. London: Cassell, 1883. Small octavo, original green cloth. Housed in custom clamshell box. $27,000.
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), an exceptionally lovely copy, far more beautiful than usually found.
"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 published in serial form in Young Folks magazine (October 1881-January 1882). Only 2000 copies of this first book edition published. 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 "8" is absent in the pagination of page 83; 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 5G-783 at the end. Issued in various colors of cloth, no priority. Beinecke 240. Prideaux 11. Gerstley Collection 22. Osborne, 1030. Gumuchian 5443. Pierpoint Morgan, Children's Literature 241. Bookplate of Glasgow architect James Jackson Craig. Old pencil prices and other notations to endpapers.
Text remarkably clean, far more so than usually found. Restoration to inner paper hinges, upper corner of last leaf of advertisements. Cloth generally fresh with minor rubbing to spine ends; gilt bright. A beautiful copy in very nearly fine condition.