NICK OF THE WOODS; or the Jibbenainosay
New York: Redfeld, 1853. Engraved frontispiece. New Edition, Revised by the Author. Rebound in brown cloth. 12mo (7 1/4" x 4 7/8"), original text rebound in a brown "library" cloth binding, engraved frontispiece and title pages, xi, [xii: blank], -391 pages. Near Fine / None. Item #2461
SCARCE: NEAR FINE, clean, tight copy with unform light age-toning to pages; occasional hints of light foxing; rebound in very serviceable brown cloth.
Nick of the Woods; or, The Jibbenainesay is an 1837 novel by American author Robert Montgomery Bird. Noted today for its savage depiction of Native Americans, it was Bird's most successful novel and a best-seller at the time of its release. This is a "new edition, revised by the author."
The novel is set in Kentucky in the 1780s and revolves around the mysterious figure of "Nick of the Woods," dressed as a monster, who seeks to avenge the death of his family by killing numerous Indians, carving a cross on the body of all he slays. "Nick" is revealed to be Nathan Slaughter, a Quaker by day who should by nature and creed avoid all violence. Bird's brutal depiction of Native Americans (the Shawnee) was quite hostile, and in part a reaction to the more positive representation of Indians by James Fennimore Cooper in the Leatherstocking Tales.