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Septimius Felton or The Elixir of Life

by HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel (1804-1864)

Condition: Fine-

Boston: James R. Osgood, 1872. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. Fine-. With a preface by Una Hawthorne. First State (Clark's First Printing, with dropped "I" in "It," l.18, p.42) of Hawthorne's final work, a gothic romance set during the Revolutionary War about a search for the elixir of life. One of only 3000 copies printed. 8vo (172 x 108mm): [4],229,[3,blank, ad leaf]pp. Publisher's decorated blue bold-ribbed moired T cloth (copies were also bound in terra-cotta and green sand-grained C cloth and green and terra-cotta smooth V cloth), front cover and spine decorated in black and lettered in gilt, chocolate coated end papers. Trivial edge wear, slight spine lean, dusty top edge, else an exemplary example. BAL 7638. Grolier Hawthorne 38. Clark A29.2.a. Browne, p. 68. Wright II, 1139. Bleiler (Checklist), p. 96. Bleiler (Guide to Supernatural Fiction) 779. Originally published posthumously in the Atlantic Monthly, taken from an unfinished manuscript discovered by Hawthorne's wife; then in London, where Robert Browning is credited with assisting Hawthorne's daughter, Una, with editing the text. "Although Hawthorne was obviously dissatisfied with Septimius Felton, and modern scholars generally regard it without great enthusiasm, it is a fascinating collection of motifs and involved plot strands in the Romantic Gothic tradition." (Bleiler) The work seems to have inspired H. P. Lovecraft's novella The Dreams in the Witch House. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).


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