New York: Harper and Brothers New York, 1865. 3rd Printing. Original Cloth. MOBY-DICK; or the WHALE
Publisher: Harper & Brothers New Yorkì
Date:1863 short run of 253 copies.
Moby-Dick 1863, xxiii, , 634,  pp. (8vo) 19x12.5 cm (7½x5") original blind-stamped Black cloth, spine lettered in gilt. Third printing / Edition. Preceded by the first edition 1851 and 1855 and a later edition 1871 of 277 copies.
Sympathetically restored binding using original cloth of the correct age and pattern for repairs, original yellow surface paper ends of the period. A very nice copy of a rare printing.
Whilst traveling and low on funds due to lack of popularity in his writings, Melville had Harper run a small print of the 1855 printing, and numerous monthly renderings of prose and verse then in 1862 he was broke and returned to New York as a tax inspector basically re starting his career as a writer. Re-printing The Whale in 1863.
Melville had a modest revival of popularity in England when readers rediscovered his novels in the late nineteenth century. A series of poems inspired by his early experiences at sea, with prose head notes, were published in two collections for his relatives and friends, each with a print run of 25 copies.
Some chapters of Moby-Dick are no more than two pages in standard editions, and an extreme example is Chapter 122, consisting of a single paragraph of 36 words. The skillful handling of chapters in Moby-Dick is one of the most fully developed Melvillean signatures, and is a measure of his masterly writing style.
The first printing by Harper's in 1851 numbered 2915 copies, approximately 300 copies were destroyed in a warehouse fire in 1853 and as late as 1854 copies of the first edition were still available from the publisher. A second printing of 250 copies was issued in 1855, and this copy in 1863, the third printing of 253 copies was issued. A very scarce early issue. BAL 13664 (for first printing) Tanselle Thomas 1976 Newberry Library (for all printings). Very Good. Item #244
Price (USD): $9,500.00