Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1860. Steel engravings. First Edition, First Printing. Blind-stamped cloth. 12mo (7 1/4" x 5"), original blind-stamped and pebbled-brown publisher's cloth with gold lettering on spine, blind-stamped rules and ornament on front cover, chocolate brown-coated endpapers, [vi] + 410 pages. Green cloth slipcase with leather label. Near Fine / Slipcase: Very Good. Item #6435
Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809 – 1894) was an American physician, poet, and polymath based in Boston. A member of the Fireside Poets, he was acclaimed by his peers as one of the best writers of the day. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858). He was also an important medical reformer. In addition to his work as an author and poet, Holmes also served as a physician, professor, lecturer and inventor and, although he never practiced it, he received formal training in law.
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table (1858) is a collection of Holmes' essays originally published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857 and 1858 before being collected in book form. This edition of The Professor at the Breakfast-Table was serialized in 1859 and appeared in book form during December just in time for the '59 Christmas trade. It also contained more than a dozen poems.
The essays take the form of a chiefly one-sided dialogue between the unnamed Author and the other residents of a
New England boarding house who are known only by their profession, location at the table or other defining characteristics. The topics discussed range from an essay on the unexpected benefits of old age to the finest place to site a dwelling and comments on the nature of conversation itself. The tone of the book is distinctly Yankee and takes a seriocomic approach to the subject matter.
These urbane pieces present imaginary conversations at a Boston boardinghouse, reflecting Holmes¿s opinions, charm, and wit.
in some sense a sequel to the more well-known "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table" is full of gems of aphoristic writing. Philosophical, religious and social insight abound. The two introductions, written decades apart acknowledge the momentous changes that took place with the Civil War and in each subsequent decade and the fact that sequels are never as well-received as the first book in a series
SUPERIOR COPY of this classic of 19th century American literature: tight, clean, bright with minimal foxing and only slight rubbing to extremities. Previous owner's light inscription on front free endpaper.
BAL 8791 Currier Tilton, Bibliography of Oliver Wendell Holmes, pp.88-89f.