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STEVENSON, Robert Louis.

The Black Arrow:

A Tale of the Two Roses.

London: Cassell & Company, Limited, 1888 Stock Code: 146963
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To the friend who found Vailima; the only known inscribed copy of this title

First English edition, presentation copy to the friend in Samoa who found Vailima for Stevenson, inscribed by the author on the half-title: "Harry Jay Moors from Robert Louis Stevenson".

Stevenson met the American trader Harry Moors on his arrival in Apia, Samoa, on 7 December 1889 - it was on Moors's boat, in fact, that the Stevenson party went ashore. Moors and his Samoan wife put the writer and his party up until they could find a place to stay, and it was Moors who found the estate of 300 acres that Stevenson purchased and called Vailima (Five Waters). Living at first in a rough cabin, Stevenson entrusted the construction of a suitable house on the estate to Moors. They remained good friends and drinking companions until the writer's death in December 1894. Moors's account of their relationship, With Stevenson in Samoa, was published in London in 1910.

The London edition was published about six weeks after the American. The book is a historical adventure tale, based on the Paston Papers. Presentation copies of Stevenson's major novels - the historical adventure tales, such as The Black Arrow, and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - are notably rare. This is the only inscribed copy of this novel to have appeared in commerce in the past 45 years.

Provenance: Sotheby's New York, The Maurice F. Neville Collection of Modern Literature (Part 1). 13 April 2004, lot 214.

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Octavo. Original red cloth, spine and covers lettered and decorated in black and gilt, fore and bottom edges untrimmed, floral patterned endpapers. Housed in a custom red morocco-backed folding case.


4 pp. of undated ads plus 16 pp. of ads dated July 1888 at end.


Spine lightly sunned and cocked, preliminary leaves slightly foxed, else a fine copy.


Beinecke 481; Princeton 40A.


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