New Arrival

'The Lady with the Lamp''s own copy, and the Wakeman Copy, with a tipped-in Longfellow letter

The Courtship of Miles Standish, and Other Poems.

Boston: Ticknor and Field, 1858.

Price: $15,000.00


About the item

First American edition published shortly after the London edition. First printing with “treacherous wine” on p. 124.3. 215 [12] pp.; ads dated October. 12mo. 'The Lady with the Lamp''s own copy, and the Wakeman Copy, with a tipped-in Longfellow letter. Publisher's original brown cloth, near fine, with slight rubbing to corners; advert for the Waverley Novels tipped in to endpapers, bookplate of Stephen Wakemen to front paste down; Nightingale's ownership signatures to title page and title to "Miles Standish"; Longfellow ALS with envelope tipped into front blanks; final page in “Filomena” (185-6) creased. BAL 12122; Provenance: Stephen Wakeman, his sale, 1924, #719, with his book label on the front paste-down, and note laid-in in Wakeman’s hand. On the rear free endpaper, early 20th century bookman, Gabriel Wells, copied the Wakeman description, noting the sale and lot; the note is initialed “G.W.” From Gabriel Wells the book went into the collection of Carl Pforzheimer, and was sold in 1986 by Ximenes Rare Books to a private collector where it remained until 2021.

Item #365464

Florence Nightingale's lovely copy of The Courtship of Miles Standish, which contains the poem "Santa Filomena" that christened Nightingale as 'The Lady with the Lamp', an image forever after associated with her. Nightingale wrote in detail about her love for Longfellow’s poetry, memorized some of the poems, and had in-depth contact with Thomas Gold Appleton, Longfellow’s brother-in-law. Her mother asked for “Filomena” to be read over and over – after which she would comment, “It is all true.”

While the two pencil inscriptions are not in the hand of Florence Nightingale or her father, there were close associates around her, mainly her Aunt Mai, who handled a lot of details of her day to day life – even keeping her beloved father distant, though Nightingale said she always found time for him and they were very close.

In the tipped-in letter, Lonfellow writes on Feb. 22, 1859, to le Chevalier de Chatelain (Jean Baptiste François Ernest de Chatelain [1801–81]) about receiving a copy of Beautés de la poésie anglaise (1960-1972), likely in manuscript form, Chatelain's collection of translations from English poetry, noting that he was included, and asking to be added to the list of subscribers. In the published version, Longfellow's poetry is featured in four of the five volumes, and he is indeed among the subscribers. Longfellow calls Chatelain's renderings of his work "spirited and effective" and asks if the translator received a copy of this volume, as Longfellow had instructed his London publishers to send one over. Chatelain, writer and translator, born in Paris but naturalized as a British citizen in 1848, had already translated Longfellow's Evangeline and Voices of the Night.