First edition of The Naval War of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt.
Octavo, xviii, 498pp, [2pp ads]. Publisher’s reddish-brown cloth, title in gilt on spine. Illustration of a fully rigged sailing vessel on cover. Cloth binding variant C. Light rubbing to cloth at the spine. Faint brown stains to top edge of text block, short closed tear and brown mark to top edge of pages 241-254. Previous ownership bookplate and antiquarian bookseller’s label on front endpaper. Brown endpapers in fine condition, solid text block. (Cole & Vail, A3) (Howes R431)
An exceptional example of the true first edition of the first published work by Theodore Roosevelt.
Roosevelt began writing this book during his senior year at Harvard. He later noted that the first chapters he wrote at Harvard “…were so dry that they would have made a dictionary seem light reading by comparison.” Over the next two years he refined this narrative and published the book at the age of 23. This first edition was issued in three types of cloth: dark blue, olive green and reddish brown. Subsequent editions were printed using the same plates, but with “second edition, third edition, etc.” added to the title page.