8 April 2003
THE PROPERTY OF A LADY
JAMES, Henry (1843-1916). Transatlantic Sketches. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1875.
8o. Original green cloth (hinges weak, wear at extemities). Provenance: Mary Lucinda Holton James, the author's sister-in law (presentation inscription from the author); Edward Holton James, her son, the author's nephew (stamp on front flyleaf).
FIRST EDITION, A FINE PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY JAMES TO HIS SISTER-IN-LAW on the verso of the front free endpaper: "Mary James from her affectionate brother[-in-law] -- H. James Jr." Mary James was the wife of Henry James' younger brother Robertson James.
Both Robertson and Garth Wilkinson James, the two younger James brothers, joined the Northern Army during the Civil War: "The war emphasized the widening gulf between the four brothers that had been the result of their difference in age. Bob, in particular, had for some time 'strained much at every tether,' Henry observed. He considered himself a foundling in the family; he talked of running off to sea. The war offered him a ready alternative The younger brother stepped into the bright and lurid light of war for their brief hour-and it turned out to be their only hour. Life after the Cival War was for them a long and painful anticlimax" (Leon Edel, Henry James, New York, 1985, pp.61-63). BAL 10530. A VERY FINE ASSOCIATION.
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