Speeches. First Edition, 1891. Presentation copy, Inscribed by Holmes.
Presentation Copy Inscribed by Holmes Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr. [1841-1935]. Speeches. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1891. [v], 55 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5-1/2"). Original cloth, title in gilt to front board, top-edge gilt, deckle fore and bottom-edges. Light soiling and some discoloration to boards, spine darkened, rubbing to extremities with some wear to spine ends and corners, light toning to interior, faint dampstaining to upper corner of text block and rear board, light foxing to a few leaves. Presentation inscription from Holmes, clipped from shipping envelope, tipped-in to front free endpaper. Book housed in a custom clamshell box, quarter morocco over cloth, raised bands and gilt title to spine. $2,500. * First edition. The inscription reads: "Mrs. Hill/ From the Author." Holmes published two subsequent editions of this work, adding later speeches, but the 1891 version is the most elegantly printed of the three. Holmes dedicated these "chance utterances of faith and doubt" to "a few friends who will care to keep them." One of those friends was Mrs. Caroline Hill, who acknowledged the gift in an October 21, 1891 letter to Holmes. She also expressed thanks "for intellectual suggestion in the old time & more for your interest in my boy in these days." That boy, Arthur Dehon Hill, became a lawyer, a professor of law at Harvard and a member of the State Street firm of Hill, Barlow Goodale & Wiswall. Copies of the first edition of Speeches were sealed in shipping envelopes. Holmes inscribed the envelopes of copies intended for presentation and, in many cases, added names of recipients at a later date. This seems to be the case with Mrs. Hill's copy: "Mrs. Hill" is written in pencil in a large hand over a flourish; "From the Author" is in a small hand in ink. A copy of Hill's letter and a brief biography of Arthur Hill are enclosed in a folder in the clamshell box. This volume includes several of Holmes's memorable addresses, such as his 1886 lecture at Harvard on "The Profession of Law," his 1895 Memorial Day address at Harvard, "A Soldier's Faith," as well as speeches on John Marshall and "The Puritan."
Book number 72466