Joslin Hall Rare Books

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 Tuesday, December 12, 2017

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Thayer, Ernest Lawrence.
Casey at the Bat.

Boston Dana Estes & Company: October, 1902. First printing, presumed 1st state with binding "A" in white cloth.

The first hardcover anthology printing of "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, contained in "A Treasury of Humorous Poetry. Being a Compilation of Witty, Facetious, and Satirical Verse Selected from the Writings of British and American Poets", edited by Frederic Lawrence Knowles. This classic baseball poem had first appeared in the June 3rd, 1888 issue of the San Francisco Examiner, and was popularized by actor De Wolfe Hopper who recited it thousands of times on the stage. It was reprinted as a pamphlet in 1901, and a year later saw it printed in hardcover in this treasury of humorous poetry where it was attributed, for an unknown reason, to a "Joseph Quinlan Murply". The book presents a fascinating bibliographical tangle, with four distinctly separate states having been identified, featuring three different bindings and two states of the text. The presumed first issue binding features clown faces and a winged horse's head, and is known in both white (Binding "A") and green ("Binding "B"). The presumed second issue binding is also in green and featuresa clown's head on a stick, framed with a wreath (Binding "C"). There were two separate printing states- one of which has the poem attributed to Murphy and another where Murphy's name has been removed completely from the index of authors at the front, and the poem attributed to Thayer in the Index of Poems at the rear. The first printing state has been observed with Bindings A, B and C the second, corrected printing state, has only been seen in Binding C.

Hardcover. 5"x7.5", xxiv + 407 pages, portrait frontispiece and 15 b/w plates. Covers with some soil and a few light spots Christmas gift inscription on the front pastedown dated 1902 ownership inscription on the endpaper also dated 1902 one plate with a short, closed tear red cloth ribbon laid-in at page 40/41, with slight resulting discoloration. Pages ever so slightly toned.

Inventory #: 3315
Price: $ 2000.00      

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