1853 Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Two volumes, complete. Boston.

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The venerable Twice-Told Tales; a classic American work, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, in classically American bindings. This is the edition issued with the help of Thomas Fields, after Hawthorne had success with the Scarlet Letter. The works are a retelling of anonymous stories floating around the Boston area in the early 19th century.

Edgar Allan Poe wrote a well-known two-part review of the second edition of Twice-Told Tales, published in the April and May 1842 issues of Graham's Magazine. Poe particularly praised Hawthorne's originality as "remarkable". He nonetheless criticized Hawthorne's reliance on allegory and the didactic, something he called a "heresy" to American literature. He did, however, express praise at the use of short stories (Poe was a tale-writer himself) and said they "rivet the attention" of the reader. Poe admitted, "The style of Hawthorne is purity itself. His tone is singularly effective--wild, plaintive, thoughtful, and in full accordance with his themes." He concluded that, "we look upon him as one of the few men of indisputable genius to whom our country has as yet given birth.”

Physical Attributes -

Each volume measures approx. 18 x 11.5 x 2.5 cm. The spines and corners are leather ruled in gilt, with the title author and volume in compartments ruled (top and bottom) in gilt on the spine. The boards are covered in a heavy cloth. Pages: Volume one - frontis, 287, (1). Volume two - (1), 288, (1).

Condition -

See pictures. Bindings with a pleasing vintage patina, with some shelf wear, and a few scuffs and marks. Pencil bookseller notes on the pastedown and flyleaf (just inside the front cover). Old owner's name on flyleaf also. Slight gutter crack at frontis portrait showing cords used in binding (strong!). Frontis portrait ghosted through tissue onto title page. Vol. 2 has a pencil name on front blank endpaper. Occasional fox spot or thumb. The perfect patina for a farmhouse, traditional or rustic American home.

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