[HAWTHORNE, Nathaniel]. Fanshawe, a Tale. Original blue muslin-backed boards, printed paper spine label, housed in red morocco pull-off case. Boston: Marsh & Capen, 1828. BAL 7570. Clark A1.1. Howe NH8. Wright I:1141. Wilson (Thirteen Author Collections, 1:121). First edition of the author's first book, published anonymously at his own expense. . "Although Hawthorne later suppressed knowledge of the existence of Fanshawe, the scarcity of this work results primarily from destruction in a warehouse fire of the publishers inventory" (Clark). One of the classic rarities of 19th century American literature, Fanshawe was not reprinted in Hawthorne's lifetime. In the foreword to his 1939 More First Books catalogue, John S. Van E. Kohn lamented "we have still to experience that fabled acme of bibliopolic bliss which springs from contact with a Fanshawe or a Tamerlane...," and the occasions of the 1965 and 1972 Seven Gables catalogues again did not permit public display of that bliss. Paul Seybolt's catalogue did not claim a copy, nor did copies appear on such disparate, but logical, occasions as the McKee or Martin sales. Provenance: John [Fortes?] (early ownership inscription) - Betsey Cushing Whitney (her sale, Sotheby's New York, 23 April 1999, lot 464). A bit shaken, spine label chipped with loss, boards with some rubbing and soiling, else very good.