Item Details

Price: $1,750
PJP Catalog: 61.145


(London: Macmillan and Co. 1890). 194 x 130 mm (7 5/8 x 5 1/8"). 10 volumes.. Riverside Edition.

BEAUTIFUL EARLY 20TH CENTURY OLIVE GREEN TEXTURED CALF, HANDSOMELY GILT, BY SANGORSKI & SUTFLIFFE (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers with double-ruled gilt border and blindstamped in a basket weave pattern, raised bands, spines lavishly gilt in compartments with central cruciform ornament framed by wide densely gilt cornerpieces filled with leaves, flowers, and small tools, each spine with two maroon morocco labels, turn-ins gilt in a lacy filigree, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, other edges rough trimmed. Three volumes with portrait frontispiece. Light rubbing and flaking to one joint (only), spines uniformly sunned to a mellow olive brown, one leaf with a triangular tear at upper right just into the text (no loss), isolated very minor stains or foxing, otherwise A BEAUTIFUL SET IN FINE CONDITION, the handsome bindings very lustrous and with no significant wear, and the text fresh, clean, and bright.

Though not to be found atop the Mt. Olympus of American literature, James Russell Lowell (1819-91) made significant contributions over a long period of time as a journalist, editor, critic, poet, philosopher, and essayist. He was the first editor of the "Atlantic Monthly" and later co-editor of the "North American Review"; he was the second president of the Modern Languages Association; and he achieved literary prominence not only in America, but abroad, where he enjoyed a triumphal European tour from 1872-74. He was at his best when dispensing folk wit and wisdom, something that obviously informs his first significant work, "The Biglow Papers," which Day describes as "a masterpiece in the genre of folksy philosophizing in American dialect." Among other important contributions is his long poem "A Fable for Critics," which includes--in not always laudatory terms--his personal characterizations of major contemporaneous American writers and his reviews of their work. Our bindings here provide a very pleasing and uncommon decorative combination: the spines offer a sumptuous display at the same time that the covers, with their interwoven texture, offer a more subtle blindstamping.