First edition, first issue of Stevenson's greatest adventure story, featuring "the most perfect character in English literature" (Henry James).
"To be feared of a thing and yet to do it, is what makes the prettiest kind of a man."
The story of staid lowlander David Balfour, and noble, hotheaded Alan Breck, thrown together by circumstance and tied together thereafter by the bonds of loyal friendship. Henry James, a good and perceptive reader of Stevenson, famously called Alan Breck "the most perfect character in English literature," which is simply the truth. Kidnapped is also among the very finest novels in the English language, for children or for anyone else, but James went only so far as to call it "the finest of [Stevenson's] longer stories." Probably he was jealous.<br /><br />An excellent copy of an excellent book.
Read more: Henry James, "Robert Louis Stevenson"; Claire Harman, Myself and the Other Fellow: A Life of Robert Louis Stevenson; McKay, A Stevenson library: a catalogue of a collection of writings by and about Robert Louis Stevenson, #379.
[London]: Cassell & Company, Limited, 1886. Kidnapped: being memoirs of the adventures of David Balfour in the year 1751. 7'' x 5''. Original green cloth with gilt-lettered spine (issued in multiple colors, there is no priority established). Black coated endpapers. Fold-out color frontispiece map. viii, 311 pages, followed by first state 16-page ad catalogue ("5 G. 4.86" and 5 B. 4.86). Faint rubbing to boards; a few minor blemishes to back cover. Extremities slightly bumped. Front inner paper hinge reinforced. Closed tear, repaired, to folding map.
Very good plus.
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