The Madonna of the Future and other tales.
In Two Volumes.London: Macmillan and Co., 1879 Stock Code: 70986
First edition, published in a very short run of a mere 500 copies. These six stories had previously been published in Scribner's, Harper's and Galaxy in the United States or in James's first book, A Passionate Pilgrim (Boston: Osgood, 1875); although, as James remarks in his "Note", "all these things have been revised and retouched".
Provenance: inscribed on the half-title to volume I, "Rowland C. F. Leigh, Decr. 4th 1879" (publication date was October). Leigh (1859-1943) was a barrister and served as principal private secretary to Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Prime Minister 1905-08; he was the fourth child of William Henry Leigh, second Baron Leigh, and the brother of Margaret, Countess of Jersey. The Leighs were known to Henry James, who was a visitor at Osterley Park, the family home of the earls of Jersey, and the disguised setting for the opening of his novella The Lesson of the Master (1888). Rowland Leigh bore such a resemblance to his sister that, "meeting him in New York, Henry James called Rowland, 'Lady Jersey in trousers'" (cited in Violet Powell, Margaret, Countess of Jersey: A Biography, Heinemann, 1978, p. 159).
2 volumes, octavo. Original dark blue fine-bead-grain cloth, titles to spine gilt, curved-edge panel to front cover in black and in blind on back, brown-coated endpapers. Housed in a custom blue cloth solander box.
Spines gently cocked, minor ink spot to spine of vol. I, margins of text blocks faintly toned, light spotting to edges, prelims and end matter. An excellent set.
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