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Among the rarities of the collection a few particularly attractive association items deserve special notice, owing to the peculiar fitness of the added material to the book which accompanies it. The Longfellow, Holmes and Lowell divisions are particularly noticeable in this respect. A very early holograph manuscript of Bryant, manuscript copies by his father and aunt of his first attempts at poetry, and a presentation copy of Emerson's Representative Men add interest to the works of these authors.
Irving's manuscript diaries in Spain for 1828 and 1829 and his pocket note-book for the Knickerbocker History are most unusual items. The six or eight school books of Nathaniel Hawthorne, in each of which he has scribbled his name many times, after the manner of a schoolboy, contain some of the earliest examples of his writing known. They add great interest to the rarities of the Hawthorne collection. There are two Holmes items, both with the author's inscription, of which Mr. Chamberlain possessed the only known copies, New England's Master-Key, and Lecture-1863, which was probably delivered at Providence.
There is a Longfellow item-The New England Tragedy, in prose—which most Longfellow collectors are unaware was ever put in type, and the same is true of the leaflets Kéramos and From My Arm Chair. The associations connected with the Nöel (the copy which accompanied the gift) cannot be surpassed. An uncut copy of Outre-Mer, of unheard measurements, in parts, in the original wrappers, has a long letter of Longfellow accompanying it, written at the time of its publication. The series of letters written by Longfellow to his intimate friend, George W. Greene, upwards of five hundred letters covering a whole lifetime, form an item of literary interest such as has never before appeared in the auction room in America.
Lowell's copy of A Year's Life, with his presentation inscription to Alfred Tennyson in the early days of struggle of both the youthful poets, is equalled in interest by the Commemoration Ode, with a four-page letter relating to it and giving an entirely new stanza for the re-issue. His letter to Whittier
announcing The Pioneer and asking for a contribution is a delightful item, particularly as Whittier has written a verse or two on the leaf of address.
In the division relating to Edgar Allan Poe, interest centers in an uncut copy of Al Aaraaf, with his sister Rosalie's presentation inscription, and a copy of the Raven, which. Abraham Lincoln gave to a friend, from which, unfortunately, the inscription has been cut. Thoreau is well represented by beautiful copies of the first issues of his works, and it is almost impossible to select among the Whittiers those worthy of mention. Moll Pitcher, in immaculate blue wrappers, uncut; the almost unknown leaflet, Address at the Opening of Pennsylvania Hall, Mogg Megone, and Narrative of James Williams are among others of equal rarity.
The association between all of the books and the owner of the collection will be apparent at a glance, as laid within the volumes are to be found Mr. Chamberlain's memorandum slips, whereon he has written the result of his comparison of different issues, his logical conclusions as to the value of differences, and other interesting and important data for the collector.
BRYANT (WILLIAM CULLEN)
Longfellow: From My Armchair
Hawthorne: Celestial Railroad
Schoolbook on Book-keeping
New England's Master Key, 1863
Diary in Spain, 1828-1829 .
Note Book for the Knickerbocker History. 53
Song of the Vermonters
New England Tragedy, 1860
New England Tragedies, 1868
A Year's Life-the copy given to Tennyson 105
A Week on the Concord and Merrimack
Address at the Opening of Pennsylvania
All books in the collection are FIRST EDITIONS unless otherwise described.
Nearly all books are cased in handsome CLOTH COVERS with leather labels, designed by Mr. Chamberlain and made by Bradstreet. A distinctive color marks the works of each author, and the workmanship is the best of its kind. These covers not only protect each book from deterioration but add greatly to the appearance and value of the collection.