University Archives

Lot 202

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H.W. Longfellow Superb ALS Regarding Bowdoin College and Shells, Tipped into His Book, "The Song of Hiawatha"

The Song of Hiawatha, Boston Ticknor and Fields, 1855. First Edition, First Printing, First State. First State copy with all points present; brown, blind stamped cloth; nick from corner of back endpaper; p.27, line 9 "heron"; p.32, line 11 "In the Moon"; p.39, line 11 and p.268, lines 11 and 14, "Wahonomin", not "Wahonourn"; p.96, "Dove" instead of "Dived"; p.278. Contains the 12-page catalogue of books for sale at back, with the date "November, 1855". A superb four page autograph letter signed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is tipped into the book. The letter is dated "Cambridge Oct 5, 1851" and Longfellow has signed the letter to the last page "Henry W. Longfellow".

Original lightly brown stamped cloth, lightly rubbed. Slight splitting to the spine cloth along the ends. Gilt titles. Internally clean with an occasional handling mark, small nick to edge of title page. Neat prior owner inscription to front fly leaf.

Longfellow's letter discusses shells, shown in part below:

"... I was speaking yesterday with W/ Appleton about the work on Shells which he imported for Bowdoin College, and he regretted he could not show it to me as it was sent several weeks ago ... not having heard of its arrival , has begun to fear some accident has befallen it...

A lovely and incredibly unique book with a superb autograph letter. The only signed copy of this book we have located is listed for $4,000, and that other book is a third printing! The Song of Hiawatha, Longfellow's epic poem of a Native American love story, is one of the most enduring productions of American Romanticism. 

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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September 30, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

Westport, CT, US

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$2,000 $2,999 $200
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