“THIS CHANT OF PEACE, INVENTION, AND LABOR”
WHITMAN, Walt. After All, Not To Create Only. Recited by Walt Whitman on Invitation of Managers American Institute. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1871. Slim octavo, original purple cloth, gilt cover medallion. Housed in a custom hard-sided cloth chemise. $1100.
First edition in book form of Whitman's celebration of American labor and progress, preceded only by the extraordinarily scarce first issue on unbound single sheets.
A contemporary review of Whitman's reading of "this chant of peace, invention, and labor" describes him in vivid detail: "His manner was at first sight coldly quiet, but you soon felt a magnetism and felt stirred. His great figure was clothed in gray, with white vest, no necktie, and his beard was unshorn as ever. His voice is magnificent, and is to be mentioned with Nature's oceans and the music of forests and hills." BAL's binding "A," no priority established. BAL 21405. Myerson A6.2. Contemporary pencil owner signature on half title.
Front inner paper hinge expertly reinforced, faint scratch to front cover, mild toning to extremities, gilt quite bright. A near-fine copy.