Boston: Ticknor, Reed, & Fields, 1852. Octavo. vi, (7), 256pp. First edition. First issue, with “lifed” for “lifted” on page 21, line 3. Illustrated with a frontispiece and six plates after designs by Hammat Billings. Hawthorne’s groundbreaking attempt to retell Greek myths in a style suitable for children met with enough success that it led to a sequel, Tanglewood Tales, published the following year. In his introduction, he wrote “Children possess an unestimated sensitivity to whatever is deep or high, in imagination or feeling, so long as it is simple, likewise. It is only the artificial and the complex that bewilders them.” In the original blue publisher’s cloth, stamped in gilt and blind, which is nearly as fresh and bright as the day it was issued. Rare in such fine condition, with only light foxing and slight rubbing to corners and top of spine. Neat presentation inscription dated before publication, Christmas, 1851. In a cloth chemise and handsome full-morocco slipcase. Item #15934
(BAL 7606, Parley to Penrod p. 6).