Albany: Joel Munsell, 1869. 139,pp. Small octavo. Three-quarter crimson crushed morocco and marbled boards, t.e.g. Trace of wear at crown and toe of spine, front free endsheet bears several tipped-on clippings and is neatly detached at the gutter, otherwise a fine copy. Item #WRCLIT75383
The uncommon first edition of this well-known monograph on the topic's practice in New England and precedents in the rest of the world. It was reprinted in 1871 - the edition which is frequently incorrectly cited as the first edition - and many times thereafter well into the later part of the 20th century. Laid in is a one page a.l.s., Hill View, NY, no date, from Stiles to a Mr. Clark, thanking him for sending him a transcript of a poem on bundling, noting that "I always keep any such corroborative evidence as to the existence of this old-time custom; and shall place this with the somewhat considerable material which has accrued since the publication of ... [this book] tho' it is very doubtful if, in my old age, I shall ever re-publish this work of my younger and friskier days ...." The letter is somewhat tanned, and has a closed tear in the right margin. Stiles' book was one of the source works for the Langner and Langer play, THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, and the resulting film.