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A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.

Boston and Cambridge : James Munroe and Company; George P. Putnam, New York; Lindsay and Blackiston, Philadelphia; John Chapman, London, 1849 Stock Code: 52313
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His first book, in original cloth

First edition of Thoreau's first book. Thoreau published at his own expense an edition of 1,000 copies: less than 300 sold, and in 1853 the remainder was returned to him - 256 bound up and 450 in sheets - prompting his rueful journal entry: "I have now a library of nearly 900 volumes, over 700 of which I wrote myself."

The present copy has the three lines of text which were dropped from the bottom of p. 396 by the printers supplied in pencil in a contemporary hand, as also the corrections at pp. 94, 120, and 139. The advert leaf advises that "Will soon be published, Walden or Life in the Woods", but due to the commercial failure of his first work it was not until 1854 that the latter was finally published by Ticknor and Fields.

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Duodecimo (197 x 122 mm) in sixes. Original brown cloth (BAL binding variant T, trade binding), title gilt to spine with blind rules forming compartments filled with arabesques in blind, blind panels to the boards, buff endpapers. Housed in a burgundy cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Slight wear at extremities, spine chipped at head and tail, but the publisher's name still largely legible at the tail, free endpapers irregularly discoloured, last 3 leaves torn along the bottom margin, no loss of text. A very good copy.


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