Philadelphia: Printed and Published by H. Maxwell, 1799. First Edition. Hardcover. Item #29000
vi (but actually iv), 224pp. Modern red half morocco over marbled boards, spine with raised bands, decorated in gold and blind and lettered in gold. The endpapers were replaced but the original front free endpaper and the original bookstore typographic label (Sold by Campbell, Conrad & Co. Price -- Cents [Baltimore]) were preserved. The front endpaper bears three previous owners' names: one stamped and two handwritten (one of them dated 1801). With the misspelled name on page 108. This was the first part of a Gothic romance by the first US professional writer (the second part was published in 1800). "CBB [Charles Brockden Brown] is perhaps of more importance for his transmutation of the US wilderness, in a novel like Arthur Mervyn (1798-9), into a hallucinated labyrinth-like landscape; and for his extremely early use of a city like Philadelphia, in the same novel, in passages that convey a sense of genuine urban fantasy. His influence on 19th century writers like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe was very considerable." The Encyclopedia of Fantasy, eds. Clute and Grant, 1997, p. 143. Text block is age-toned, scattered foxing throughout, short corner tear to one of the leaves (not affecting text). A very good+ copy. BAL 1498. Wright I.418. ; Octavo.