Very Good. Item #6153
New York: Harper & Publishers, Publishers, 1849-1852. Octavo; Vol I (1849) 570pp; Vol II (1849) 579pp; Vol III (1849) 593pp, including index to first three volumes; Vol IV (1851) 704pp; Vol V (1851) 686pp; Vol VI (1852) 741pp, including index to final three volumes, + 8pp of publisher's prospectuses.
Half leather and pebbled brown cloth. Raised spine bands with gilt ornamentation; upper title label in red; lower author+volume label in black; other spine sections blind tooled. Gilt lettering. Small comb marbled endpapers; marbling repeated on all text block edges. Note that Vol I gives 1849 on title page but states 1848 on copyright page. Second sequence of three volumes (Vols IV-VI) has double title pages: the first for the series of six, the second specific to the final three volumes.
Spine gilding darkened. Lower label (author+volume) missing on Vol I only. Minor erosion on all raised spine bands and all board and corner edges; minimal leather flaking at vertical spine edges. Crowns of Vols I, IV, V, and VI show minor tears from tugging. Joints and hinges solid but front joint paper split on Vol I. Previous owner's bookplate on front pastedowns. Text blocks unmarred and unmarked, with minimal foxing.
Hildreth’s six-volume series came out in two stages, with the final three volumes appearing two years after the first three. He was notoriously disputatious, and wrote an unflatteringly objective portrait of the Pilgrim Fathers, which made him persona non grata in Boston. Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (of "Two Years Before the Mast") described him “as venomous and deaf as an adder.” He would die impoverished and ill in Florence, Italy, where he is buried in the English cemetery. This six-volume history is his monument.
[Howes 472, Final Howes 461].