Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1826. Item #03951
First Edition of “The Last of the Mohicans,”
Uncut, in the Original Boards
[COOPER, James Fenimore]. The Last of the Mohicans; A Narrative of 1757. By the Author of “The Pioneers.” In Two Volumes. Philadelphia: H.C. Carey & I. Lea, 1826.
First edition, first issue, with the following points: in Volume I, the final “i” is present in the pagination on p. vii (sequence not determined), the pagination is present on p. 71 (sequence not determined), p. 89 is misnumbered 93 (as in all copies examined), and on p. 243, Chapter XVI is misnumbered XIV (as in all copies examined); in Volume II, the fifth line of the copyright notice reads “a book” (BAL State B, sequence not determined).
Two twelvemo volumes (7 3/4 x 4 5/8 inches; 197 x 117 mm.). xi, [1, blank], 282, [2, blank]; , [2, blank], 289, [3, blank] pp. Complete with the final blank leaf (25/4) in Volume I, and with the blank leaf following the title-page and the final blank leaf (26/6) in Volume II.
Uncut, in the original gray boards. Expertly rebacked (more than ten years ago) with matching paper spines. Title-page in Volume II aged to tan, now deacified. A little foxing, some light toning to some gatherings in volume II, dark stain in lower margin of leaf 17/2 (page 175) affecting lower margins of pp. 171-182, a few short marginal tears and small paper faults. Extremely rare in the original boards. This book is notorious for the poor quality of the paper, and even with the aforementioned issues this is a remarkably clean example of this classic of early American literature, certainly one of the best copies that we have seen over the past fifty years. Each volume with the rectangular pale blue bookplate of Augusta A. Smith on the front pastedown. Both volumes chemised together in a full red morocco slipcase.
“The second and most popular novel in the series The Leather-Stocking Tales by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in two volumes in 1826. In terms of narrative order, it also is the second novel in the series, taking place in 1757, during the French and Indian War. Its principal character is Natty Bumppo, also called Hawkeye, now in middle life and at the height of his powers. The story tells of brutal battles with the Iroquois and their French allies, cruel captures, narrow escapes, and revenge. The beauty of the unspoiled wilderness and sorrow at its disappearance, symbolized in Hawkeye’s Mohican Indian friends, the last of their tribe, are important themes of the Novel” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).
The Last of the Mohicans was the second and most famous of Cooper’s “Leatherstocking Tales,” although it was the first tale to be published. The other novels in the series (in order of composition) are The Pioneers (1823), The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840), and The Deerslayer (1841). The sequence in relation to plot is The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, The Pioneers, and The Prairie.
BAL 3833. Grolier, 100 American, 34. Shoemaker 24217. Spiller & Blackburn 7. Wright I, 619.