LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL Autograph fair copy signed of A Mystical Ballad.
Cambridge, MA: March 9, 1844. Blue-gray crushed morocco with an arabesque border, dentelles with a leaf and flower motif, cream moire silk pastedown and endsheet. 14 x 10 1/2 inches (36 x 26.5 cm); engraved portrait frontispiece of Lowell, 2 ff. with 3 pp. of text in dark-brown ink, verso of second leaf addressed to G. R. Graham of Philadelphia (the publisher), second engraved portrait of Lowell, the cover of the issue of Graham's Lady's and Gentleman's Magazine (No. 5 of Vol. XXV, May, 1844), in which the poem first appeared, the verso with the text page that comprises the first appearance of the poem, and a final portrait of Lowell and an engraving of his house. All of the contents are inlaid to the page size. Light wear to the binding, faint old dampstain to watered silk endpapers, the manuscript with traces of the usual folds, a few restorations, loss to the foot of the second sheet, the poem itself complete but with apparent loss of some of Lowell's notes to Graham on the verso.
Autograph fair copy for George R. Graham, the publisher of the eponymous magazine, of the ten stanzas of this important early poem by Lowell. Of the notes by Lowell to Graham on the second sheet, "how do you like this" is the most prominent and the least ambiguous (the other are present only in part because of the excision of the bottom of the sheet). This manuscript was apparently last sold at auction by Anderson Galleries ("The Library of Louis J. Haber of New York City Part II") in 1909.
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