JAMES, Henry. The Golden Bowl. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1904.
2 volumes, 8o. Original brown cloth, gilt-lettered on spine, top edges gilt (a few small stains, heads of spines and lower upper corner of vol. I chipped, rear hing in vol. I cracked). Provenance: Evelyn Smalley (presentation inscription in vol. I; ALS from James tipped in to front of vol. II).
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY JAMES TO EVELYN SMALLEY on the front free endpaper of vol. I: "To my dear Evelyn Henry James November 1904." 2,000 copies of the first edition were issued on 10 November 1904.
[Tipped in to vol. II:]
JAMES, Henry. Autograph letter signed ("Henry James") to Evelyn Smalley, Palazzo Barbaro, Venice, 18 June . 6½ pages, 8o, final lines and signature written vertically across first page of text, old tape remnants in margin.
A VERY FINE ASSOCIATION COPY AND LETTER. The Smalleys were an educated, wealthy family: George Washington ("G.W."), Evelyn's father, was the celebrated London correspondent of the New York Tribune, probably the most famous pre-20th century foreign correspondent. His wife was a close friend of James Russell Lowell and Evelyn edited the eulogistic Henry James Yearbook (1911). In a 1907 letter to Elizabeth Jordan, James called Evelyn Smalley his "poor dear invincible heroine" (Henry James: Letters, ed. Leon Edel, Cambridge, 1984, Vol. IV, p.447).
James writes a long and personal letter that is heretofore unpublished: "... there are older and sterner ladies (than the kind young E.S.) waiting--for their respective replies--while I beg you to forgive me my delay. It is hot enough here for every crime of omission... But I dwell in a big fresh (or rather stale,--but that improves palaces as it does Stilton cheese) gilded, frescoed, marble floored old house, the property of some very hospitable American friends--the Daniel Curtises of Boston, who have consipired with other relaxing influences (don't tell Mr. Lowell that I have implied that a Boston family could be relaxing) to make me pay them a long visit--the only one I have ever paid in my life... It is a pity you couldn't glide on the lagoon with me this evening--I know such a lovely place to get ices... I don't believe in the capacity of the British people--or for that matter the Anglo-Saxon race--to organize splendid shows, fetes, processions, etc.; which is humiliating--as I lately saw some really superb acheivements of this kind in Florence." (3)