WHITTIER’S SNOW-BOUND, SIGNED BY HIM
WHITTIER, John Greenleaf. Snow-Bound. A Winter Idyl. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1866. Slim octavo, original green cloth gilt. Housed in custom chemise and slipcase. $750.
First edition, second state, of this poetic description of the pleasant isolation of “the inmates of the family at the Whittier homestead,” signed by Whittier and dated 1884 on the title page.
"Whittier is the voice of the middle 19th-century New England farmer and small town dweller. In loving, careful detail he speaks for the inarticulate, for the humble and the common" (Kunitz & Haycraft, 813). In his introduction to Snow-Bound, Whittier writes, "The inmates of the family at the Whittier homestead, who are referred to in the poem, were my father, mother, my brother and two sisters, and my uncle and aunt both unmarried. In addition, there was the district schoolmaster who boarded with us." Snow-Bound was greeted with many favorable reviews that focused on the simplicity and power of Whittier's writing. The reviewer for The North American Review writes, "We are indebted again to Mr. Whittier, as we have been so often before, for a very real and very refined pleasure. It is true to nature and local coloring, pure in sentiment, quietly deep in feeling, and full of those simple touches that show the poetic eye and the trained hand." Another reviewer acknowledged that "Whittier is a poet who deserves to be better known… He might be called the poet of the bright side of human nature." Second state, with pagination dropped from page 52. Allibone, 2704. BAL 21862. Early owner signatures. Newspaper articles tipped to dedication leaf and its verso.
Only infrequent occasional mild soiling to text, a few small stains to cloth, minor wear to extremities. An unusually nice copy.