London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1841. Hardcover. Illustrations by J.R. Herbert. 4to. Original brown heavily blind-embossed cloth with large gilt devise and modern brown cloth tape spine. iv, 52pp. All edges gilt. Engraved title page, 9 full-page heavy stock engraved plates. Good plus. Bindings a tad edgeworn; some foxing and age toning to preliminary leaves; inner hinges bear old but neat clean brown cloth tape reinforcement, thus tight. Item #45975
Nice first edition despite rather homespun spine of this slim gathering of steel engravings with accompanying text. Intriguing provenance: Laid in is a Typed Letter Signed from the great-great-granddaughter of Ulysses S. Grant, Carolyn Cartee (1947-2016): 1p, 5½" X 8", Encinitas, CA, 10 August 2015. Fine. Cartee spells out her connection to the Union general and U.S. president and records that "This copy of J.R. Herbert's Legends of Venice... came from the library of my grandmother" -- Nellie Grant Cronan (1881-1972), daughter of President Grant's youngest son Jesse R. Grant (1858-1934). Boldly signed at the close. Interestingly, when President and Mrs. Grant took their famous world tour after leaving the White House, they brought with them their son Jesse -- and in 1878 they visited Venice. There's no evidence whatsoever that this copy of "Legends of Venice" was a souvenir they picked up while there, mind you -- but there's no proof they DIDN'T buy it there or had it presented to them and a bookseller can fantasize, can't he?! Just idle, unanswerable speculation.