FIRST COLLECTED EDITION OF THOREAU’S WORKS, IN HANDSOME ONLAID CONTEMPORARY BINDINGS
THOREAU, Henry David. The Writings. WITH: Familiar Letters. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1894-95. Together, 11 volumes. Small octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spines with floral morocco onlays, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $4000.
“Riverside Edition” of Thoreau’s works, trade issue, one of only 500 sets, handsomely bound in three-quarter onlaid morocco-gilt.
"Although Thoreau achieved little fame in his lifetime, and was thought of primarily as a naturalist or nature writer, he is now looked upon as one of America's major literary figures as well as a pioneer conservationist, an ecologist and an important political influence… In Walden Thoreau wrote, 'How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.' Walden and 'Civil Disobedience' have been just such works. The once obscure Concord disciple of Emerson has become a world figure in his own right" (ANB). The "Riverside Edition" includes all of Thoreau's previously published books as well as his journals (from which almost all of his works were derived), essays, lectures, poems, letters and a biographical sketch of the author by his fellow Transcendentalist, Emerson. The portraits include reproductions of the Rowse crayon portrait, the Worcester daguerreotype and the New Bedford ambrotype. "This was the first regularly collected complete edition of Thoreau's writings… The Familiar Letters, upon its appearance in 1894, was added to the Riverside Edition as an eleventh volume, being brought out in uniform style, though it lacked the half title with the volume number" (Allen, 51). "Riverside Edition" also issued in 150 large-paper sets. Familiar Letters an 1895 edition. Frontispiece portraits in Volumes I, V, X and in Familiar Letters. Borst B1. BAL 20132-33. Allen, 51. Armorial bookplates. Only occasional pencil and pen underlining.
Small bump to edge of "Early Spring" text block, interiors generally quite nice, bend mark to front board of "Familiar Letters," only minor wear to bindings. A near-fine copy.