Putnam's Monthly Magazine Volumes IV and V (4 and 5) [Israel Potter; Or, Fifty Years of Exile] Two Volumes
New York: G.P. Putnam & Col, 1854-1855. Scarce. The first appearance of Israel Potter, Melville’s novel about the Revolutionary War, was published in six parts in Putnam’s Magazine between July 1854 - March 1855. It was published in book form in March 1855. Loosely based on a real person, Israel Potter recounts the life of a young American who fights in the Revolution, is captured at sea by the British Navy, and has a series of adventures in England involving King George III, Benjamin Franklin, John Paul Jones, and Ethan Allen. The work ends sadly, with Potter exiled in poverty in England for fifty years, finally returning to America shortly before his death. The book was a commercial failure in its time but garnered critical appreciation. Volume IV also includes Melville’s “The Lightning-Rod Man.” Both volumes are bound in the original green cloth with embossed designs to covers and gilt titling to spine. Both volumes have a few light stains to the boards, bumped / worn corners, and rubbed cloth, with faded titles to spines. Minor sunning to spines. Wear and minor chipping to book cloth along spine ends, edges, and corners of boards. Interior pages clean overall with browning to some pages. Foxing primarily to first and last few pages; although, there are occasional spots of foxing throughout both volumes. Overall in very good condition. Volume IV: 672 pages; Volume V: 668 pages. PER/031023.