1863 Tales of a Wayside Inn by Longfellow. 1st state, 1st edition. Fine binding.


An attractive fine binding decorates this first American edition, first state, of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Tales of a Wayside Inn. This is the first book appearance of Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride (among others). Provenance of the Pittsburgh steel family, Laughlin.

Bound by the Riverside Press.

About the Work -

Tales of a Wayside Inn is a collection of poems by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The book, published in 1863, depicts a group of people at the Wayside Inn, as each tells a story in the form of a poem. The tavern of the Wayside Inn is in Sudbury, Massachusetts, 20 miles from the poet's home in Cambridge, and a favorite resort for parties from Harvard College. The narrators are friends of the author who, though they were not named, were so plainly characterized as to be easily recognizable. Among those of wider fame are Ole Bull, the violinist, and Thomas William Parsons, the poet and translator of Dante. Each of the three parts has a prelude and a finale, and there are interludes which link together the tales and introduce the narrators.

Provenance -

Manuscript notes, and initials at the front, refer to life events of Henry A. Laughlin, Leslie I. Laughlin (initials on the binding), and James B. Laughlin. These are the Laughlin's of Jones & Laughlin steel (or, J&L Steel), in Pittsburgh.

First Edition, First Issue Points -

The advertisements at the rear list the price for this book (p. 11) as "nearly ready". The two other points, on page 124 and 174, read per BAL 12136 ("Whistled, saying", "His only pastime").

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 18 x 11 x 2.5 cm. Crushed green levant Morocco. Five raised cords to spine; all compartments with gilt fillet border and four with an inner border with corner fleurs, and two compartments with the title and author in gilt. Boards have matching double border with inner having corner fleurs. Front board has initial at middle of board, and date at bottom of board. Double endbands. All edges gilt. Board edges have gilt fillet. Turn-ins with a triple gilt fillet border. Pages - (3), frontis, viii, 225, (1), 22, (2)

Condition -

See pictures. A little wear, with some color loss at the joints. One tiny white spot at top of spine. Some darkening spots on the boards. Spine darker/sunned. Silk ribbon attachment expired. Turn-ins ghosted flyleaf. Manuscript ownership and gift inscriptions on the three unpaginated blank front endpapers. Occasional fox spot and several page edge chips. Slightest toning towards edges of pages. I'm nitpicking though, mostly a very handsome book, with a nice and clean text-block.

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