EMERSON, RALPH WALDO. May-Day and Other Pieces. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1867. 8vo, original white linen, t.e.g., spine darkened, sides less so, front outer joint cracked, ends of spine worn; blue half morocco slipcase. FIRST EDITION, IN THE GIFT BINDING, PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed by the author on front flyleaf: "Edwin P. Whipple from R.W. Emerson, 1 May 1867" (the earliest date on which Emerson is known to have inscribed copies). BAL 5250; Myerson A28.1.a. Contains the first book appearance of Emerson's famous poem "Brahma."
Edwin Whipple, a noted literary critic, an important figure in the Boston Literary scene, and an admirer and friend of Emerson, published many papers on the author of May-Day, including "Emerson and Carlyle" and "Recollections of Eminent Men." With numerous marginal pencil markings and two annotations by Whipple. At the foot of p. 29, beneath the line "Age cannot cloud his memory," Whipple has written: "How sad to find this contradicted in the author's case" (as noted in the Whitman catalogue description).
The Stephen H. Wakeman copy (sale, American Art Association, 28 April 1924, lot 218), with his bookplate.