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The Water Witch, or The Skimmer of the Seas (1834)




J Fenimore Cooper


Henry Colburn & Richard Bentley, London, 1834


First edition thus (first single volume edition, revised, corrected and with new introduction by the author). Hardback, bound in half-leather with three raised bands, gilt decoration and contrasting title label in red leather, and marbled paper covered boards. 17 × 10.5cm, xi + 429pp, 2pp ads, with frontispiece, engraved title and printed title.

Not signed as such but with the ownership stamp and label to the printed title page of Thomas Kitchingman Hutchinson Staveley of Old Sleningford Hall in North Yorkshire.


Set in 17th-century New York and the surrounding sea, the novel depicts the abduction of a woman, Alida de Barbérie, by the pirate captain of the brigantine Water-Witch, and the subsequent pursuit of that elusive ship by her suitor, Captain Ludlow.


This copy is in very good condition for age. There is some light rubbing to the leather and boards. The inner binding is sound but with a little straining in places, and the pages are clean with occasional light tanning, though the printed title, frontis and engraved title have some heavier tanning.


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