Hard Cover. Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard, 1840. New Edition. Fair.
New edition. Two volumes. Publisher's blue cloth with white paper spine labels. A fair set, cloth rippled and dampstained, spine ends and corners worn, paper spine labels with some soiling, nicks, and dampstaining, pages dampstained and foxed throughout, both volumes with small bookseller's ticket (G. Tracy of Utica) to front endpapers. Volume I: lacking front free endpaper and half-title, notation in red pencil to title page, pages iii-x loosened but holding, lacking pages 39/40 and 45/46, rear end paper loosened but holding; Volume II: lacking half-title, red pencil notation to front endpaper, pages 17-20 loose but present, page 159 with small cutout at margin. Overall, a flawed set but in the original cloth bindings. Housed in a custom cloth slipcase. First published in 1809, A History of New York is American author Washington Irving's first novel. Written under his pseudonym, Diedrich Knickerbocker, it is a satirical account of the founding of New Amsterdam and its subsequent fall, including a comical portrait of Thomas Jefferson as "William the Testy". Interestingly, the book's publication began with a hoax created by Irving himself. Before the first edition was published, the author posted several false missing persons reports in New York newspapers, claiming that an elderly Dutch historian by the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker had gone missing from his hotel room, along with a statement purporting to be from the hotel that threatened to publish Knickerbocker's manuscript if he failed to return to the hotel and pay his bill. After gaining the public's interest, Irving published the book and received a wide positive reception. Only 26 years old at the time, Irving soon found success as the editor of Analectic Magazine, and went on to become well known as one of the foremost short story writers in the country.