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    Sale 2059

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    5 December 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 87

    The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion. Boston: Weeks, Jordan, and Co. (vol. I); E.P. Peabody (vols. II and III); and James Monroe and Co. (vol. IV), 1840-1844.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion. Boston: Weeks, Jordan, and Co. (vol. I); E.P. Peabody (vols. II and III); and James Monroe and Co. (vol. IV), 1840-1844.

    16 parts in 4 volumes, 8o. General title-page for each volume. (Title-page from vol. IV with two repaired tears not affecting text.) 20th-century half morocco, marbled boards, top edges gilt, others uncut, many original printed wrappers bound-in at end of each volume (a few repairs to wrappers). Provenance: W. Sturgis (signature on front wrapper of vol. II, no. IV).

    "AND SO WITH DILIGENT HANDS AND GOOD INTENT WE SET DOWN OUR DIAL ON THE EARTH. WE WISH IT MAY RESEMBLE THAT INSTRUMENT IN ITS CELEBRATED HAPPINESS, THAT OF MEASURING NO HOURS BUT THOSE OF SUNSHINE" ("The editors to the reader," p.4, July 1840)

    FIRST EDITION OF THE MOST CELEBRATED TRANSCENDENTALIST LITERARY MAGAZINE. Its title suggested by Bronson Alcott, the first issue of The Dial was published in July 1840 with Margaret Fuller as the editor. At a cost of 3 dollars a year, subscribers were sent four quarterly issues of 136 pages with contributions by Henry David Thoreau, James Russell Lowell, Theodore Parker, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, and other great literary and philosophical authors of the period. Although they had visions of a great magazine the purpose of which was "... to furnish a medium for the freest expression of thought on the questions which interest earnest minds in every community..." (rear wrapper), The Dial attracted only a little over 300 subscribers. Emerson became editor in 1842 because he felt that people still needed the magazine, but with contributors leaving to write for better paying journals and subscriptions dropping, it finally ceased publication in 1844. Copies of The Dial are EXTREMELY RARE: according to American Book Prices Current, no copies have been sold at auction in the past 30 years. (4)


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