Thursday, June 9, 2011

1883. Rare Hawthorne jacket.

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Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Dr. Grimshawe’s Secret: A Romance. Boston: James R. Osgood & Co., 1883. First edition. Decorated cloth. 8vo. [Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library]

This is the only jacket known to survive on a Hawthorne first edition. None of his books published during his lifetime (1804-1864) are known in jacket, although some probably had them. Ticknor & Fields was Hawthorne's main publisher, but no Ticknor book for any author is known to survive in jacket.

The above example also is the only jacket known to survive on a trade book issued by James R. Osgood & Co. (The only other known Osgood jackets are on the large paper edition of Garfield's Works, also from 1883.) It is printed only with the title and author, not even the publisher's name. Such jackets may not have been seen by customers very often. Many were no doubt discarded by store clerks as books were put out for sale so that the more attractive bindings could be seen.

Several gift editions of Hawthorne titles published by Houghton Mifflin in the 1890s survive in cloth or paper jackets and boxes.

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