Item Details

Price: $18,000
PJP Catalog: 63.468

Attractively Bound, Mostly Unopened, and
With an Excerpt from "A Yankee in Canada"


(Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1906). 229 x 156 mm (9 x 6 1/8"). 20 volumes.. ONE OF 600 COPIES.

FINE DARK GREEN THREE-QUARTER MOROCCO, marbled sides and endpapers, spines very handsomely gilt in animated compartments filled with floral stamps and stars, top edges gilt, other edges rough trimmed. MOST OF THE VOLUMES UNOPENED. With 104 black and white and 20 colored plates, mostly photogravures. WITH A PORTION OF MANUSCRIPT IN THOREAU'S HAND, as called for in this edition (see below). Spines faded uniformly and very slightly to a pleasing brown (just a hint of fading to perimeter of covers), a total of four leaves with expertly repaired tears (one tear of four inches entering the text, the others smaller and marginal, and no loss in any case), otherwise A VERY FINE SET, THE BINDINGS QUITE BRIGHT AND VIRTUALLY UNWORN, AND THE LEAVES WITHOUT ANY SIGNIFICANT SIGNS OF USE, the majority of the text obviously never having been read.

This special edition is distinguished by the presence in the first volume of a portion of manuscript in Thoreau's hand. Our copy contains a manuscript in ink, with minor corrections in pencil, of a passage from Chapter IV of Thoreau's "A Yankee in Canada" (1866). The passage begins by describing the maison de pension at Point Levi where Thoreau stayed until he could catch the next ferry to Quebec. At Quebec the next morning, Thoreau describes a dying man. The manuscript reads, in part: "When we landed at Quebec the next morning, a man lay on his back on the wharf, apparently dying, in the midst of a crowd and directly in the path of the horses, groaning, 'O ma conscience!' I thought that he pronounced his French more distinctly than any I heard, as if the dying had already acquired the accents of a universal language.".