A Sumptuously Bound Deluxe Edition of the Works of the Chronicler of the American West


(Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1896-1914). 221 x 146 mm. (8 5/8 x 5 3/4"). 21 volumes. No. 59 of 350 COPIES of the Autograph Edition, SIGNED in the first volume BY THE AUTHOR and dated September 1896.

HANDSOME DARK BROWN CRUSHED MOROCCO, GILT, FROM THE BINDERY OF THE RIVERSIDE PRESS (stamp-signed on verso of front free endpaper), covers with gilt fillet frame and large floral wreath at center, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with Tudor rose centerpiece, gilt lettering, LIGHT GREEN MOROCCO DOUBLURES with pretty gilt frame, green watered silk endleaves, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed, three volumes UNOPENED. Writings with title page vignettes and 134 PLATES, including 20 color frontispieces, portrait of the author, and 113 photogravure plates printed on India paper and mounted on heavy stock, at least one plate in each volume SIGNED in pencil by the artists, who include Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, M. J. Burns, Seymour M. Stone, Frederick McCormick, and Alice Barber Stephens; "Life" with frontispiece portrait and 16 plates. BAL 7384; BAL 7408. ◆A touch of sunning to spines, but A SUPERB SET inside and out, with only the most trivial imperfections.

Offered here in an expansive deluxe edition in sumptuous bindings, this is a collection of works by a premier chronicler of the American West and the California Gold Rush, a writer whose vivid and romantic depictions did much to contribute to the region's allure. According to Day, "Harte's West is one of picturesque melodrama, sentimentality amidst the sordid, a boisterous flotsam-and-jetsam society set against spectacular scenery. . . . His pervasive technique was contrast, physically among the bizarre admixture of humanity in contemporary California, and morally within individuals (favorite Harte subjects are gamblers and harlots with hearts of gold and blasphemous miners who would weep copious tears over Little Nell)." Harte was part of a vibrant San Francisco literary scene that included Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce, and was also close to Ralph Waldo Emerson, James Russell Lowell, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Our set is enhanced with illustrations by some of the leading artists of the West, including Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, who bring Harte's colorful characters, dramatic Western panoramas, and rowdy scenes to life. Our set was extravagantly bound at the Riverside Press bindery, and its yards of beautifully gilt crushed morocco make a striking appearance on the shelf. The "Writings" were issued in 19 volumes in 1896, followed by a 20th volume in 1903 and then Merwin's "Life" of Harte in 1914; not surprisingly, the set is frequently seen incomplete, without the two subsequent volumes that are present here.

Price: $11,500.00