Hard Cover. New York: The Outlook Company, 1903. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition. Publisher's decorative red cloth signed F.C.G. with ivy pattern in front of a gate in gilt to front board and spine, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed, illustrated with 46 black and white plates showing both photographs and drawings. A near fine copy, light sunning to spine and corners bumped. Overall, a bright and pleasing copy in a decorative binding. In Backgrounds of Literature, Mabie discusses various American authors including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Washington Irving, and Walt Whitman, and the contexts in which their works were composed. He places special emphasis on environment, and his descriptions are illustrated with photographs and drawings that demonstrate what he discusses in his writing. Bound in the art nouveau style of the early 20th century, the gilt stamping of the gate is brighter than the stamping of the ivy, and this subtlety is demonstrative of the time, skill, and expense that went into producing these elaborately decorative book covers.