American Literature, Melville's "Omoo," 1847 and Harry Edwards' "Eneas Africanus," Macon, Georgia, 1920

Melville, Herman. Omoo - A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1847. Small 8vo, brown decorative cloth with gilt decorations on spine and gilt sailing vessel on front board, marbled endpapers, 389pp. This copy is missing the original title page and has a photocopy of title and copyright page inserted. It still has the original frontis map/chart and drawing on page 104. It has the xxiii page Publisher's Advertisement for the Revised Edition of Typee (Melville's first South Seas island adventure) and 8 pages of ads for other titles offered by Harper, mostly publications for schools. This appears to conform to the points of the first American edition, the preferred edition of collectors. From an historical perspective, this represents a very early description of life on a Pacific Island.

Edwards, Harry Stillwell. Eneas Africanus. Macon (GA): J.W. Burke Co., 1920, presumed first. 12mo, green suede-covered boards with gilt on front, 47pp. Written partially in dialect, not unlike Jim in Huckleberry Finn. The story of an ex-slave who remains loyal to his "massa," who travels around the south trying to find his way home while carrying the plantation silver, including a "wedding cup" with multi-generational history. The only places Eneas has been other than the plantation are Tommeyville (or Thomasville), Washington and Jefferson Counties, Macon, Sparta and Louisville. As he traveled around the South, he discovered just how many places bear the same names. It takes him many years to make his way back to his starting point, since he occasionally stops for a year or two to earn some money to continue his trip. This depicts the white Southern fantasy, a slave so devoted that he returns with all of the plantation wealth intact. 


Melville with scattered foxing; one water stain along top edge, mostly impacting top margins. Spine is a bit dry and splitting along front outer hinge. One small chip missing. Page 99-100 has a piece cut from upper corner, not impacting text.

Some toning around the edges of the boards and intermittent staining to the text.

Estimate: $200 - $400
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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