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Fine Editions Ltd

Fine Editions Ltd
Item #BB2789 [Florence] [Binding] Tuscan Cities [Extra-Illustrated]. W. D. HOWELLS, Fratelli Alinari, William Dean, Photographs.
[Florence] [Binding] Tuscan Cities [Extra-Illustrated]
[Florence] [Binding] Tuscan Cities [Extra-Illustrated]
[Florence] [Binding] Tuscan Cities [Extra-Illustrated]

[Florence] [Binding] Tuscan Cities [Extra-Illustrated]

Leipzig: Heinemann and Balestier, 1900. Vellum. Later edition of Howells's guide to Florence and Pisa enriched with literary portraits of their most illustrious citizens. Crown 8vo (150 x 109mm): 264pp, with 27 tipped-in full page albumen prints, many by the Florence firm Fratelli Alinari. Full decorated vellum over beveled boards, spine and covers richly gilt, brown leather lettering piece gilt, all edges stained red, decorative end papers, red silk ribbon page marker. Book plate of Jessie Heys and ticket of Florence bookseller Libreria R. Paggie (via Tornabuoni, 15) to front paste down. A superb copy, occasional light spotting to pages, but very securely bound and generally clean throughout. See Stevenson, "With William Dean Howells to Florence," The Critical Flame (accessible online). BAL 9620 (for first edition). Fine. Item #BB2789

First published in Boston, in 1886 (but copyrighted 1885). Visitors to Florence, a requisite stop on Italian sojourns, often purchased a compact memento sold by local booksellers, who had sumptuously bound various American and English literary works associated with the city (we also have on offer a similarly bound grangerised edition of Hawthorne's Marble Faun) in attractive souvenir bindings with albumen photographs of architectural attractions inserted. "Few companions to Florence are more engaging than William Dean Howells, . . . who first went to Italy in 1861 as an American diplomat stationed in Venice. . . . Howells became fluent in Italian and fell in love with the fractured country that recently had unified. . . . {He] returned to Tuscany in 1883, to recharge his batteries after many years at the Atlantic [Monthly, which he edited] and as the high judge of American letters. . . . What sets Howells apart from the majority of his American contemporaries—except for Mark Twain and his Innocents Abroad—is that he uses his travel books as rough drafts for his novels, and spends as much time examining character (as would Tolstoy, another of his favorites) as he does the cathedrals. In Tuscan Cities, Howells includes wonderfully evocative sketches of Dante, Cosimo the Elder, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Savonarola, who come alive on his walks across Florence, known then to only a handful of travelers. . . . The theme that elevates Tuscan Cities from a simple guide book to something more serious is the compassion that Howells shows for the death of the Florentine republic, a political experiment that he finds as uplifting as Jefferson’s America." (Stevenson) 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. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).

Price: $335.00