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THE WATER WITCH; OR, THE SKIMMER OF THE SEAS.

[COOPER, James Fenimore, 1789-1851] :

  • Publisher: London : Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1830.
London : Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, 1830. First British edition. Alida de Barbérie is abducted by pirates - the brigantine "Water Witch" is pursued by Captain Ludlow. Set in and around the still half-Dutch New York of the early eighteenth century - the press was unanimous: "the mystery of the story, and the life and spirit of his characters, have, indeed, seldom been equalled, and is nowhere surpassed" (Morning Chronicle) - "Cooper, the American novelist, has no living superior" (The Scotsman). Precedes the American edition by two months, although a slightly earlier edition published in Dresden is known in a handful of copies. Three volumes. Demy 12mo (188 x 114mm). viii,(322); [ii],316; [ii],308pp. Bound, without the advertisement leaves, in a smart contemporary half blue-green calf, banded and gilt; red labels; marbled sides; sprinkled edges; a few internal marks and spots, but still overall an excellent set. With the contemporary armorial bookplate in each volume of the colourful William Edward Powell (1788-1854), Member of Parliament and Lord Lieutenant of Cardiganshire, and the later bookplate of the well-known collector Robert James Hayhurst (1929-2016) in the first volume.

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Ash Rare Books. Founded in 1946 and long one of London's more interesting small book businesses. Owned and run by Laurence Worms, former President of the ABA.

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