Walden; or, Life in the Woods.Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1854 Stock Code: 143773
Fine in the original clothFirst edition. Following the failure of his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden was not a runaway success. The edition of 2,000 took five years to sell through, but it was from the very first an immensely influential text, and remains so today: "For almost a hundred years an inspiration to nature lovers, to philosophers, to sociologists and to persons who love to read the English language written with clarity" (Grolier).
This copy has advertisements dated May 1854. The earliest date of the advertisements is April 1854, but the book was not published until 12 July 1854 and there is no priority of issue. Other advertisements are dated as late as September 1855, although BAL states that these are of "no known bibliographical significance". Nevertheless, many collectors prefer prepublication advertisements, as here.
Octavo. Original brown ribbed cloth, spine lettered in gilt, large decorative device within panels in blind to endpapers, pale yellow endpapers. Housed in a custom green morocco back slipcase and matching chemise.
Wood-engraved title-page vignette of Thoreau's hut, chart of Walden Pond (with the publisher's imprint - later state but no priority of issue), and 8-page publisher's catalogue dated May 1854 bound between the rear endpapers.
Without marks of ownership. A truly fine copy, the cloth bright and fresh, in unread state.
BAL 20106; Borst A2.1.a; Grolier American 100, 63.
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