A rare example of two volumes in one bound edition of the Transformation of the Romance of Monte Beni . 16mo. 4 1/2 x 6 1/2". Vol. 1 -- [i-v]vi-xii, 292 pp. Vol. 2 ---280 pp. The Copyright Edition. All edges stained red. Red silk ribbon bookmarks. Bound in full parchment stamped with gilt and scarlet. Though the title page reads TRANSFORMATION: OR THE ROMANCE OF MONTE BENI, the spine of both volumes reads, MARBLE FAUN, as the title was known in America. Rich chocolate marbled colored end papers embellished with gilt.
Both volumes compiled into one custom binding are extra-illustrated with multiple mounted early albumen photographs that depict Roman ruins, religious icons, and famous works of art, street scenes, and unique people. TAUCHNITZ: INTERNATIONAL EDITIONS IN ENGLISH, 1841-1855 states that the book sold enough copies to require a fourth setting of plates -- one of only two of the firm's 500 English-language titles ever to accomplish such a feat. One explanation for its popularity is that, with its vibrant descriptions of Rome, Nathaniel Hawthorne's story or American expatriates in Italy was employed as a guidebook of sorts by tourists. This bound volume, extra-illustrated with photographs, was likely the product of a Roman cottage industry that created such books as souvenirs for American tourists.
The custom binding on this edition is first class.
Leipzig: Bernard Tauchnitz, 1860.
Item ID: 2543