Item #21243 The Wanderer: A Tale of Life’s Vicissitudes. James Alexander Maitland.

The Wanderer: A Tale of Life’s Vicissitudes.

New York: E. D. Long, Successor to H. Long and Brother, 121 Nassau-Street, (1856). First edition. 8vo (7.63 x 5.25 inches), original blind-stamped brown-lilac cloth, gilt pictorial spine, 377, [7] pages. Title page woodcut vignette. Spine faded to tan, some light rubbing and bumping; a little foxed and stained; a good to very good copy. Item #21243

“He resolved to satisfy himself, and walking into the store, asked for a copy of Irving’s Knickerbocker. ‘I have not got it in store, sir,’ replied a grey-headed spectacled old gentleman, who was seated at a desk on the farther end of the store, and who came forward as he spoke. ‘You will find it at Mr. Irving’s publisher, Mr. Putnam.’ . . . Seeing that the old gentleman was inclined to be chatty, Gerald, after having purchased and paid for a couple of volumes, continued in the conversation, by asking the bookseller if he had been long in the business. ‘More than thirty-five years,’ he replied. ‘I am getting very old now, and merely remain in business, for the sake of amusement. I sell but little and publish nothing at all. Young houses have sprung up into collossal [sic] magnitude, that were unheard of when I commenced business. There is the Harpers’ establishment, twenty years ago it did not exist—now, more books are published by that firm, than are published by any other house in America, and few in Europe exceed them in the number and variety of their publications. If they go on thus much longer, they will be the greatest publishers in the world. I could name many others. It is a sad state of things, sir, a sad state of things.’ ” One of several American urban novels from the 1850s by the English sailor turned American journalist Maitland, this seemingly something of a David Copperfield-inflected bildungsroman of the son of an idealistic English emigre newspaper editor, set largely in Manhattan and with plenty of street life and colorful characters. (The appearance of Amos Biggin—former publisher of The Trumpeter of Freedom newspaper—at the Office of the Gift Penwiper Society in the Bowery is of a piece with the entire novel.) With attractive illustrated publisher’s ads in the rear. Wright II, 1662.

Price: $50.00

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