9 June 2004
[LINCOLN, Abraham]. NICOLAY, John George (1832-1901) and John Milton HAY (1838-1905). Abraham Lincoln: a History. New York: The Century Co., 1890.
10 vols. large 8vo, each volume with half-titles, frontiepieces and photographic illustrations. Half pale burgundy morocco and marbled paper boards, spines gilt with stars, American Eagle and U.S. shield, black morocco gilt-lettered labels, top edges gilt, others uncut, very minor rubbing to a few corner. A FINE SET.
FIRST EDITION of the seminal Lincoln biography by Lincoln's former secretaries. Hay and Nicolay began work on the monumental account in the early 1870s, using private papers borrowed from Robert T. Lincoln, and took some 15 years to complete the work, which was the only biography based on Lincoln's papers published before 1947. While it was "authorized" by Robert Lincoln, "the fullness and the candor of the record is startling" (David M. Potter). The authors' "firsthand knowledge of the Lincoln administration was unsurpassed by any writer" (Mark E. Neely, Jr.) and it remains a key source.
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