London: Henry Colburn and Co. Public Library, Conduit Street, Hanover Square, 1821. First Edition. Half-Calf. First Printing of the author's rare first novel (very rare, as here, in the British edition), complete in three volumes. 12mo: ,307,; ,301,; ,315,pp, vol. III, pp. 139 and 272 misnumbered 189 and 172). Contemporary half leather, marbled paper-covered boards, spines decorated in blind with gilt bands and lettering, blue marbled end papers, bookbinder's ticket on front paste down of vol. I (Hays, Book-Binder, 7. Richmond-street, Derry). An excellent set, with tight bindings (barely scuffed) and generally clean, bright pages. BAL 3825 (oddly, making only passing reference to this edition, although the Standard Novels edition [London, 1839] is given an entry of its own [BAL 3889]). Spiller & Blackburn, p. 18-19. Fine. Item #BB1431
Revision of first New York edition, "made apparently by the proof-reader and not by the author." (Spiller & Blackburn) Cooper wrote Precaution on a dare. Warren Walker (James Fenimore Cooper: An Introduction and Interpretation) records it this way: "In the customary practice of the day he was reading aloud to his wife one evening from a current English novel, but found the story dull. Throwing it aside, he declared, 'I could write a better book than that myself.'" To make good his boast, Cooper wrote Precaution, in imitation of contemporary English domestic novels, such as those of Jane Austen and Amelia Opie. In fact, when the novel appeared anonymously in New York (and later, London), it was credited to an English woman. The publisher, A. T. Goodrich, later surprised the public when it revealed that Precaution was authored by a gentleman from New York. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.