Very Good / Very Good. Item #10760
New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1911. First American Edition. Octavo (7 7/16"x 5"); [viii], 357pp. Five full-color illustrations -- frontis with tissue guard and four double-page plates -- all present. Scarce original illustrated dust jacket with $1.25 net price to spine; book in publisher's brown cloth with blindstamped Phantom and cream lettering. "Press of Braunworth & Co. Bookbinders and Printers Brooklyn, N. Y." imprint at bottom of copyright. Jacket shows a few shallow chips and tears along edges, with internal tape repair at front fold, tail of spine, and top back panel (browned), and with one clear external tape repair (1") at top front corner over fold, along with some general light scuffs -- affecting a few letters -- moderate smudging / darkening to surface -- mainly to white of spine and back panel -- and a faint waterspot to spine below price. Boards lightly bumped at corners with a bit of rubbing along bottom edges and nudging to spine ends, with a faint vertical crease to cloth diagonally down much of the spine. Half title / frontis separating cleanly along gutter but still holding by about an inch near top. Tissue guard flat and clean. Illustrations bright. Falls open easily between gatherings, but binding is sound. Pages unmarked.
Exceptionally scarce in the original jacket, with this being an unusually intact example despite the noted imperfections. One of now a few known variants -- this copy featuring the Phantom in the bell tower, with another known design using the frontis illustration of the Phantom descending stairs and the third using the interior plate of Christine staggering and swooning. A variant of the bell tower jacket appeared at auction in 2016 -- without a price printed on the spine, apparently so booksellers could assign their own -- along with the suggestion that the bell tower design carried priority, but with only a half dozen or so surviving jackets among all variants combined and the rather recent appearance of the Christine Swooning design, it's difficult to establish with certainty.
The American Edition of Phantom, translated by Alexander Teixeira de Mattos, followed the French by a year -- itself appearing just a couple months after the novel's serialization in Le Gaulois from September of 1909 to January of 1910. The novel and its Phantom have been adapted, reimagined, parodied, and referenced as widely as fellow Gothic canon-mates such as Dracula or Frankenstein's monster -- the best almost certainly being the 1925 silent Universal Pictures version starring Lon Chaney Sr, and the most successful appearing in 1986 with Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical, which is currently the longest-running show in Broadway History.