(Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1851). 183 x 120 mm. (7 1/4 x 4 3/4"). 2 p.l. (advertisements), 344 pp. FIRST EDITION, Fourth Issue.

VERY ATTRACTIVE LATER POLISHED CALF, GILT, COMMISSIONED BY GOODSPEED OF BOSTON (stamp-signed on front flyleaf), covers with French fillet border, raised bands, spine in six compartments, two with dark brown morocco titling labels, the others with central black flower tool surrounded by much leafy gilt foliage, gilt turn-ins, top edge gilt. Front endpaper with a cut signature of the author mounted vertically. BAL 7604; Clark A17.1.d. Contents printed on lesser quality paper and consequently with intermittent foxing, browning, and small stains (not infrequent, but always minor), otherwise perfectly satisfactory internally, and the binding entirely unworn.

Hawthorne's classic gothic novel appears here with two special bonus features--a pleasing smooth calf binding and a cut signature of the author. Written and published shortly after his enormously popular and best-known title, "The Scarlet Letter," the present work contains similar themes of guilt, repentance, and dark romance. Set in New England in the mid-19th century, this is the story of a particular house and its residents, both of which are haunted by a troubling history that includes witchcraft and death. The distinctive seven-gabled house of the title was actually based on a real place--the home of Hawthorne's cousin in Salem, Massachusetts--and can still be visited today. This title is not infrequently encountered on the market, but its original cloth binding is notoriously difficult to find in desirable condition. This finely bound volume offers an opportunity to obtain a thoroughly pleasing copy of this American classic in an appealing alternative form.

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PJP Catalog: 74.201