New-York: Wiley & Halsted, 1821.
New York: Wiley & Halsted, 1821.
First edition of perhaps the scarcest of all Cooper titles. Volume II in the second state as usual with pages numbers 285 and 286 correctly positioned. Two twelvemo volumes
(7 1/16 x 4 1/4 inches; 180 x 108 mm). xii, 251, [1, blank]; 286, [2, blank] pp.
Contemporary full calf. Joints expertly repaired. With repairs to head and tail of the spines as well. Boards tooled in gilt. Spine stamped in gilt, with black morocco spine labels, lettered in gilt. Marbled endpapers. Scattered browning and foxing, as expected in an American book of this era. Small repair to top of title-page of both volumes, not affecting text. Title-page of volume I trimmed just short at bottom edge, (about an eighth of an inch), not affecting text. Two leaves in volume II (pages 189-192) with corners torn, not affecting text. Rear flyleaf of volume II with piece missing. A very good copy of this rare and early Cooper novel. Housed in quarter morocco chemise and full morocco slipcase.
James Cooper's first book, Precaution, was a failure. His second, The Spy, was published a year later (1821) and fortunately for James (who not only carried the burden of debt and care of his own family, but had also assumed responsibility for his brothers' widows and children), it became an instant success. Published both in the U.S. and Europe, it was the first of a long line of both fiction and non-fiction that brought Cooper fame and respect. In it was established Cooper's typical attitude toward plot and characterization, being significant for its use of the American scene as the background for a romance.
BAL 3826. Spiller & Blackburn, 2. Sabin 16533