Boston: American Stationers Co., John B. Russell, 1837.
First edition. Publisher’s circular device on title-page. [4, ads], -334, , [16, catalogue] pp. 1 vols. 8vo. His Second Book. Publisher's brown embossed cloth, title stamped in gilt to spine. Light wear and staining to covers, cloth split at rear joint, foxing throughout. In a custom blue morocco pull-of case, gilt, by Stikeman BAL 7581; Clarke A2.1; Wilson 129. Provenance: Henry R. Cleveland (bookplate and pencil inscription on title, Burlington 1837); Agnes Neustadt (bookplate). Item #306292
Hawthorne’s second book, and although it was not the dismal failure that Fanshawe had been, it attracted hardly any notice when it was issued thus in 1837. Now, of course, it is one of the most famous collections of short fiction in American literature.
Vincent Starrett said of the story "Mr. Higginbotham's Catastrophe": "it comes close to becoming a detective story in the purest sense" and Edgar Allan Poe said the story is "vividly original and managed most dexterously" (see Queen's Quorum, p. 10).
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