This is a very good hardcover in slipcase. 1955 Heritage Press. This copy is very clean inside. Pages are still crisp, clean and free of markings. There is only a hint of light natural tanning to pages from age. The hardcover is bound in gray binders linen with the title stamped in gold. Illustrations of one of the autocrats table utensils (tea pot) stamped on front cover. Fine sewn binding is tight and straight. The hardcover is very good, showing some rubbing to title lettering as the only wear. The matching black slipcase is very good with only a hint of shelf wear. Pages are printed on fine ivory paper stock. Super octavo, 7"x11" with 281 pages.
This edition of The Autocrat at the Breakfast Table features an into by Van Wyck Brooks and finely illustrated by R.J. Holden. This collection of essays by Oliver Wendall Holmes was originally published in The Atlantic Montly in 1857 and 1858. The essays take form of dialogue between the unnamed Author and other residents of a New England boarding house. The other "residents" are known only by their professions, place at the table, or other characteristics. Art imitates life as Holmes moved from his childhood home to a boarding house while attending college. He published two original essays and later for the inaugural first edition of The Atlantic Monthly, he published new versions of his prior essays based on fictionalized breakfast talk. There actually were two additional volumes, The Professor and The Poet at the Breakfast Table, where Holmes replaced the "Autocrat" with a physician.
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