Lives of Distinguished American Naval Officers.
Cooper, James Fenimore.
( 1846), Philadelphia
12mo. 2 vols. 252, (12 ads); 264 pp. b/w engraved title.
First printing of this work by the great American author, with biographies of Bainbridge, Shaw, Somers, Shubrick, Preble, Jones, Perry, Woolsey and Dale. According to Howes, some copies were issued with portraits and some were not. This set has no portraits. Volume I conforms to Blanck’s description, measuring 6 13/16 inches in height, with six leaves of publisher’s ads at back. It is bound in the original decorated and blind stamped cloth. Volume II is in blue wrappers, also mentioned by Blanck, but it is taller than the first volume, at 7 9/16 inches, with very generous top and bottom margins. The wrappers fit the book block, so it appears the pages were trimmed for hard cover binding. In addition both volumes bear the book plate of American popular novelist George Barr McCutcheon. Each volume is housed in a chemise and matching quarter leather slipcase. A nice bibliographical oddity, with an interesting association. Were McCutcheon’s adventure heroes modeled on our naval heroes? BAL 3920. Howes C-749. Smith I, 383. Volume I is clean and fresh, with only light wear to spine ends. Volume II is foxed, with chipped wrappers and loose sewing.