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 Thursday, December 14, 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 "B" in green 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 Murphy". The book presents a fascinating bibliographical tangle, with four distinctly separate states having been idenfied, 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 features a clown on a stick, framed with a wreath (Binding "C"). There were two separate printing states- on of which has the poem attributed to Murphy and another where Murphy's name has been removed completely removed fromm 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 very minor wear, tips ever so slightly abraded, spine corners abraded, but overall a very crisp, bright cop. Pages ever so slightly toned. With the period rubber stamp of "Fred. H. Dooley, Denver Wheel Club, Denver Colo." on the front paste-down, front endpaper, and rear paste-down. Fred Dooley's large ownership signature on the front endpaper, along with some notations of dates, running from 12-24-02 to 2-17-03. The Denver Wheel Club was an early bicycling club, formed in 1881, and adds another element of sporting interest.

Inventory #: 4190
Price: $ 2000.00      



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