Holmes, Oliver Wendell. 1809-94. The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1859.

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Lot 272
Holmes, Oliver Wendell. 1809-94.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1859.

US$ 1,000 - 1,500
£ 760 - 1,100

Fine Books and Manuscripts

13 Jun 2019, 13:00 EDT

New York

Holmes, Oliver Wendell. 1809-94.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1859. 8vo (210 x 140 mm). Half-title, title printed in red and black, 8 illustrations [BAL state A]. Original publisher's embossed terra-cotta cloth, spine lettered in gilt, gilt edges [BAL state A]. Extremities very slightly scuffed. Cloth chemise, red morocco-backed cloth slipcase;
WITH: 3 pp ALS tipped-in from Holmes to George W. Childs dated "Boston Oct.1 1858," giving Childs a publishing history of the Autocrat from 1831 onward, and mentioning that he would soon send him the present copy, further embellished with a steel-engraved portrait of Holmes tipped in at the front, and ANS from G.S. Hilliard to Childs, also expounding on the origin of the Autocrat. Provenance: George W. Childs (inscribed by the author, "front free endpaper inscribed "George W. Childs with the compliments of O.W. Holmes," with signed letter; Robert and Donna Jackson (book-label).

A VERY FINE, LARGE-PAPER PRESENTATION COPY, WITH AN ALS TO GEORGE CHILDS, noted publisher and owner of the Philadelphia Public Ledger. In his letter to Childs, Holmes explains that his first version of the Autocrat was published in New England Magazine in 1831 and 1832. These were stories about a dialogue in a boarding house in New England, which were based on his own experiences in Boston in 1830. When Holmes established the Atlantic Monthly in 1856, he was expected to contribute and resuscitated the Autocrat, publishing it in 1857 and 1858. By the end of the 1858, the first edition in book form appeared, and a month later this large paper edition, most of which were sent out to friends and colleagues over the Christmas period. BAL 9093, state A (with illustrations), binding state A.
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