29 June 2005
[DANA, Richard Henry, Jr. (1815-1882)]. Two Years Before the Mast. A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1840.
12o. (Some light foxing throughout.) Original dark brown/black coarse cloth, gilt-stamped on spine (slight wear to spine ends); quarter morocco cloth folding case. Provenance: Patrick Kelly (early signature on title-page); William Abbott Pluemer (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, BAL's binding A, and presumed second issue without the dot above the "i" on copyright page and broken type in headline on p. 9. "One of the first and freshest, because of its plain factual nature, of American accounts of the sea, the book has added importance because ... Dana journeyed up into the California cattle country, of which he gives us our only trustworthy account before the 1849 gold rush" (Grolier American 46). BAL 4434 ("It has been asserted, and generally accepted, that there were two printings dated 1840..." He elaborates the points above, but adds: "This gives support (not proof) to the theory"); Cowan 1:156; Johnson High Spots 26.
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