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    The Exceedingly Rare True First American Edition of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas

    Jules Verne. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Boston: James R. Osgood, 1873.

    The true first American edition. One of only a small number of copies extant (perhaps fifty copies or less). Octavo. viii, 303 (with "The End" on page 303). With 109 full-page plates inserted throughout, including two maps, as called for.

    Publisher's green cloth, front cover ruled in black and gilt, paneled in gilt, and lettered in black with gilt borders, with gilt central image of jellyfish, spine decoratively stamped in gilt and black, and with the misprint "Sea" instead of "Seas." Rebacked with the original spine laid down and later green cloth reinforcing chipped original spine edges, edges rubbed with some wear, some rubbing, soiling to covers, spine quite rubbed, original endpapers present, some moderate occasional foxing in text, tape repairs in text to pages 81 and 95, a few occasional marginal tears in text. Still, a very good copy of this rarity, most copies of which burned in the Great Boston Fire of 1872.

    This copy has a special provenance evidenced by a penciled signature on the recto of the frontispiece. The name "John Mead Howells" is penciled in, and refers to William Dean Howells' son, who was a noted architect at the beginning of the twentieth century. The name in the book here is either John Mead's ownership signature or, more likely, William Dean Howells handwriting, signing the book to identify it as his son's or as a gift to him. An exceedingly rare book with a unique provenance.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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