(Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1898; 1895). 203 x 130 mm. (8 x 5 1/8"). Nine volumes. Riverside Edition.
Excellent contemporary brown three-quarter morocco by the Knickerbocker Bindery (stamp-signed on recto of rear free endpaper), raised bands, spines gilt in double-ruled compartments, gilt titling, marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, other edges untrimmed and MOSTLY UNOPENED. With 13 plates (mostly portraits), as called for. Spines just slightly but uniformly sunned, but A VERY FINE SET, especially clean, bright, and fresh inside and out.
This appealing set contains seven volumes of Whittier's poems, essays, and criticism and the two-volume "Life and Letters" by Samuel Pickard. A Quaker who edited a number of newspapers and spent time as a Massachusetts legislator, John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92) invested as much passion in his abolitionist campaigning as he did in his poetry. In Day's words, "Whittier won his place in New England literary circles by his genuine poetic talent and his felicity in detailing the homey aspects of New England life. Along with Thoreau, he favored life in the country, and celebrated his rural environment in much of his poetry. . . . The topical poetry that established his fame has lost much of its pertinency, but the wholesome simplicity and convincing vitality of his rural lyrics still attract 20th century readers. . . . For an America ravaged by civil war and, especially in New England, changing from an agricultural to an industrial society," his classic long poem "Snowbound" (1866) is "the definitive picture of a lost world." Samuel Thomas Pickard (1828-1915) wrote and edited a number of works on Whittier, of which the present item was the most popular, going through at least 13 editions. Pickard, a newspaper editor from Maine, married Whittier's niece, and thus had the advantage as a biographer of knowing his subject quite well. He also served as Whittier's literary executor. (ST11462a-382)
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PJP Catalog: 67.353