Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Company, 1852. First edition, mixed issue. The present copy has characteristics of the first three printings (BAL): the binding matches the first printing (including the ” high type on spine), as do the signatures. There are no advertisements, as in the second printing, and W.H. Channing is credited with the authorship of the fourth chapter “Jamaica Plain,” as in the third. Ink ownership signatures (Mary Copeland, dated September 1852) to front flyleaves. Very clean and fresh throughout. A very good, bright, and clean set. Publisher’s black cloth with blindstamped device. Titled in gilt on spine. Two volumes, octavo. 351; 352 pp. Item #17051
Margaret Fuller (1810 – 1850) was a Transcendentalist writer, a feminist, and journalist. In 1840, she took the helm of The Dial, the new Transcendentalist quarterly; a month later, she began hosting her “conversations,” during which Boston intellectuals, mostly women, joined to discuss literature, art, philosophy, abolitionism, and women’s rights. The conversations took place at the home of Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and were attended by women like Maria White Lowell, Caroline Sturgis, Lydia Maria Child, Julia Ward Howe, Sophia Dana Ripley, and many others. Mary Channing, cousin of William Henry Channing, and Sarah Clarke, wife of James Freeman Clarke, also attended. Emerson and Fuller were longtime friends and colleagues. In 1834, Fuller visited Emerson’s home and taught him German pronunciation; in return, Emerson wrote to Thomas Carlyle for assistance on Fuller’s in-progress Goethe biography. They worked together on The Dial and, after Fuller left the position of editor in 1842, the role passed to Emerson. After Fuller’s death, Emerson and his co-editors undertook the present work, which became a huge success and went to thirteen editions by the end of the nineteenth century.