In the Second Binding and the Scarce Original Dust JacketJoseph Conrad. 'Twixt Land & Sea. Tales. A Smile of Fortune. The Secret Sharer. Freya of the Seven Isles. London: J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1912.
First edition. Octavo (7.25 x 4.875 inches; 185 x 123 mm.). vii, [1, blank], 264 pages. Title-page printed in red and black. Printer's imprint at the foot of page 264: "The Temple Press, Printers, Letchworth."
Publisher's original olive vertically-ribbed cloth. Front cover with a single blind rule border and black lettering within a black columnar frame design, spine lettered in gilt within a similar gilt columnar frame design. Top edge stained green. Over-opened at the foot at gathering I (between pages 128 and 129). Faint marginal smudge on page 101. Otherwise a very fine copy, with the binding absolutely clean and bright. Neat pencil annotation at the head of the rear free endpaper: "3/15/13." In the scarce original heavy brown paper dust jacket printed in dark blue green. The jacket shows a little bit of wear at the edges, with a few tiny chips at the head of the spine, one minuscule chip at the foot of the spine, and a little bit of rubbing to the spine/front panel fold. Chemised in a quarter red morocco book-backed slipcase with the spine ruled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands.
Bookseller's description affixed to the front flap of the dust jacket: "This is the earliest issue with the misprint on the front cover, where the word 'Seven' has been superimposed on the misprinted word 'Secret.' Only a few copies were issued with this correction. The few thus in error originally entitled 'Frey of the Secret Isles' being altered before circulation to the correct title 'Freya of the Seven Isles.' Quite a rarity."
The front cover exists in three variants. In the first, the last line on the front cover contains the word "SECRET" instead of "SEVEN" for the tale "Freya of the Seven Isles." The stamp was incorrectly made and the error caught almost immediately, although about twenty copies went into circulation. In the second binding, the word "SECRET" has been clearly erased and the word "SEVEN" stamped over it. In the third binding, the word "SECRET" is correctly stamped. The binding on this copy is the second variant, with "SECRET" erased and "SEVEN" stamped over it.
'Twixt Land and Sea was published on October 14, 1912, in an edition of 3,500 copies. "A Smile of Fortune" was first published in The London Magazine, February 1911; "The Secret Sharer" first appeared in the August and September 1910 issues of Harper's Magazine; and "Freya of the Seven Isles" was printed in America in The Metropolitan Magazine for April 1912, and later in the July 1912 issue of The London Magazine.
Smith, Conrad, 17.
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