HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel (author). Walter CRANE (binding designer). [The Works.]

London; Walter Scott Limited. [1894].

£350

8vo.; 12 vols.; strikingly bound in publisher's olive green pictorial cloth blocked with an Art Nouveau design in silver and rust to spines and upper boards by Walter Crane, top edges gilt, others uncut; with frontispieces throughout in photogravure including an unsigned portrait, 4 by James Torrance and 7 by T. Eyre Macklin; an uncommonly fine, and complete, set in sparkling condition throughout, without inscriptions.

Early printings in this edition presented in the superior, and handsome, Walter Crane binding. As listed in the advertisement to the rear of each volume, the set comprises: The Scarlet Letter; The House of the Seven Gables; The Blithedale Romance; A Wonder Book For Girls And Boys; Mosses From An Old Manse; Our Old Home; Tanglewood Tales; True Stories From History and Biography; Twice Told Tales; The New Adam And Eve; Legends of the Province House, and The Snow Image.

Interestingly Nathaniel Hawthorne was a descendent of John Hathorne, one of the judges who presided over the witch trials in Salem at the end of the seventeenth century; the 'w' in his name was added somewhere along the way. One hundred and fifty years later Hawthorne penned the novel The House of the Seven Gables which deals, in part, with a cruel man who had brought witches to execution and who died with the memory heavy on his heart.

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