PUBLISHER: TICKNOR & FIELDS, Boston, 1854-1868

ABOUT: William D. Ticknor [1810-1864] and John Allen in 1832 purchased and opened a modest bookselling operation situated in the Old Corner Bookstore, Washington and School streets, Boston. Allen promptly departed, leaving Ticknor & Co. until 1845 when John Reed and James T. Fields [1817-1881] became partners as Ticknor, Reed & Fields, so named until 1854 when Reed retired and the firm was renamed Ticknor & Fields, prospering though Ticknor's death in 1864 until 1868, when financial problems forced reorganization with Ticknor's son Howard as major (but silent) partner as Fields, Osgood & Co. (1868-1870). James Ripley Osgood [1836-1892] had joined the firm as a clerk around 1855 and become a partner in 1864. James Field then retired, and from 1871-1878 the firm was James R. Osgood & Co.

In 1860 [William D.] Ticknor and [James T.] Fields published 216,536 copies of 225 titles that cost $90,000 and retailed for $231,000.... Ticknor died in Philadelphia on 10 April 1864... Firm reorganized by Fields, Ticknor's son Howard, and James R. Osgood, a bright young clerk who was taken in as junior partner ... Another clerk, John S. Clark ... was admitted to partnership in 1866 when Ticknor and Fields was worth about $300,000.... moved to 124 Tremont in September 1865.... A New York branch was operated without much success from 1865 to 1869.... Also in 1867 Charles Dickens, whose recent American lecture tour had been arranged by Osgood, became a house author.... In 1868 the partners had a falling out. Fields, Osgood, and Clark purchased [Howard] Ticknor's interest in the firm and removed him from it [and the firm became Fields, Osgood and Company]. (DLB 49).

The books were handsomely presented. Henry Houghton, of Riverside Press, helped produce the famous Blue and Gold Editions, modeled after Routledge's pocket books of poetry in London. (Tebbel). The 1860 edition of Lucile was reviewed in the New York Times (as well as other newspapers and magazines). Madeleine Stern reports (page 79) that Osgood was Ticknor & Fields "first traveling represenative ... who carried his firm's list to Detroit and Cincinnati." (Getting Out the Books). See also Tebbel BC, pages 58-63 for a succinct history of the firm.


Blue & Gold Edition: 32mo, 90x145mm, 352p. Verso titlepage: Author's Edition. Blue cloth stamped blind, gold title and cartouche on spine unless noted. All copies examined are gilt on all edges, have brown glazed endsheets and "Ticknor & Co." at foot of spine. Publisher's records show 2550 copies printed May 24, 1860.

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MDCCCLX (1860). Verso titlepage: "Riverside, Cambridge. Printed by H.O. Houghton and Company." BAP with ALS dated New Year's Day 1861 laid in; BAP (second copy); S&EH two copies, second tighter than first; Brown; University of North Carolina; Princeton; NYPL rebound; plus NL 0594575 Harvard; Wistar Institute of Anatomy & Biology (Philadelphia); Brooklyn Public; Library Company.
----. Half calf finished in marbled paper. Dartmouth College.

Printer hereafter is Welch, Bigelow. Verso titlepage: Cambridge: Welch, Bigelow, and Company, Printers to the University. Page 352: Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co. Ticknor & Fields's records indicate Lucile was stereotyped in 1862 with 518 copies printed March 21 (2nd printing), 518 copies printed August 27 (3rd printing).

1862. S&EH; BAP: signature on flyleaf dated 1863; University of Pennsylvania; University of North Carolina.

1863. 4th printing: 520 copies February 3; 5th printing: 516 copies July 16.
----. BAP TF.5; University of North Carolina, inscribed 18 October 1863; Rutgers: inscribed 1864; University of Southern California: rebound; Library of Congress NL 0594577: rebound; University of Virginia; University of Pennsylvania.

1864. 6th printing: 510 copies January 11; 7th printing: 515 copies March 26; 8th printing: 2025 copies June 16.
----. S&EH; University of North Carolina, inscribed 30 June 1864; Library of Congress NL 0594578; Princeton: rebacked.
----. Half red calf, spine gilt, finished in marbled paper. University of Cincinnati.

1865. 9th printing: 775 copies June 13; 10th printing: 1020 copies August 14; 11th printing: 1500 copies November 19.
----. Yale; University of Kentucky: rebacked.

1866. 12th printing: 1025 copies ? 28; 13th printing: 1015 copies April 3; 14th printing: 2030 copies August 18; and 15th printing: 1986 copies November 22.
----. BAP TF2: inscribed Christmas 1866; BAP: another copy; S&EH, two copies, one rebound, fragment of spine reused, exlibris Oberlin; Yale; University of Virginia; Pennsylvania State University: inscribed May 1867, last page (blank) has neatly written four stanza poem, "The Cross," first line "Every bird that upward spring...," often incorporated in hymns; plus NL 0594579 Asheville Public (Pack Library); Library of Congress: rebound; West Chester University; Rutherford Hayes Library, Ohio; Library of Ohio; New York State Library; Brigham Young; NYPL: missing.
----. Full brown leather stamped blind, spine title gold. Ohio State.

1867. 16th printing: 3040 copies September 16.
----. NYPL; University of Virginia; University of Illinois; University of North Carolina.

1868. 17th printing: 1032 copies May 15; 18th printing: 2012 copies August; 19th printing: 1012 copies December 1.
----. BAP TF3: inscribed Christmas 1869; S&EH: two copies, one inscribed Christmas 1868 and with "Fields, Osgood & Co." at foot of spine, second exlibris University of Virginia Law School Library; National Library of Canada with bookseller's ticket of J. Durrie & Son, Ottawa; Brown University.

Cabinet Edition. 16mo, 105x170mm, 352p. Verso titlepage: Author's Edition; Cambridge: Welch, Bigelow, and Company, Printers to the University. Page 352: Stereotyped and Printed by Welch, Bigelow, & Co. Spine: "OWEN MEREDITH'S / POEMS" with "LUCILE" near center, "TICKNOR & CO." at foot. Gold ovals-at-right-angles title stamp with "1866" on top board, repeated blind on lower board. Top edge gilt. Brown glazed endsheets.

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1865. 1st printing: 1170 copies October 31 [title page dated 1866?].

1866. 2nd printing: 1015 copies June 14; 3rd printing: 1030 copies September 20.
----. Green cloth. S&EH, University of North Carolina; Hanover College.
----. Maroon cloth. Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.
----. Deep purple-red cloth. Ohio State (top board missing).
----. Full black calf, single blind border rule, spine title gold. Blue gray endsheets. BAP TF1: chemise and brown cloth slipcase.

1867. 4th printing: 528 copies December 27 [title page dated 1868?].

1868. 5th printing: 662 copies March 11; 6th printing: 1006 copies July 27.
----. Green cloth. Brown University; Yale.
----. Tan cloth. Yale.
----. Purple cloth. S&EH.
----. Terra cotta cloth. University of North Carolina.
----. Cartouche is blind on both boards.
----. University of Illinois; Duke (cloth color not confirmed).
----. University of Rochester (rebound).

George DuMaurier Illustrated 8vo Edition: 147x219mm, 261p. Title page dated 1868. English sheets: verso of half title and page [262] read: London: R. Clay, Son, and Taylor, Printers, Bread Street Hill. Binding is full length profile of Lucile stamped gold; beveled edges; aeg. Brown glazed endsheets. Frontispiece portrait of Meredith: "Baron Legrange photo/J. Brown sculp." Many copies have binder's ticket of Westleys & Co., London. on rear pastedown. 1st printing: 4000 copies in August 1867; 2nd printing: 900 copies September 24, 1868. [1866-1871 American Catalog. 8vo. cl., $6. 1867.]

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1868. Terra cotta cloth. BAP TF4a; Another copy, cloth tends to more red than orange (simply less faded?), inscribed November 25th, 1867.
----. BAP TF4b, green cloth; Trinity College inscribed 1 January 1868; University of Texas Austin; Huntington Library.
----. Maroon/burgundy cloth. S&EH: inscribed Christmas 1869; University of Colorado, two copies; Redwood Library and Athenaeum; University of Virginia; University of North Carolina, inscribed 25 December 1867.
----. Full red publisher's leather, beveled edges, aeg. Elaborate blind border. Center stamp of top board, gold, is a group of four intersecting circles with floral inserts. Louisiana State University with center stamp blind (and leather color not verified); University of Chicago with initials "M.C.B." above the board stamp, "Dec. 25, 1868" below; University of Pennsylvania.
----. Full publisher's leather (morocco?). Same stamps as Chicago copy but blind with only title gold. Louisiana State University; University of Virginia.
----. Dark green publisher's calf. Same border plate as above but center stamp has in gold a rectangular panel with "LUCILE" surrounded by a floral diamond composed of small tools. Marbled paper endsheets. S&EH: bookplate of Frank Ray Howe, laid in a Dec. 23/40 ALS of Thomas Ridgway, 1525 Pine Street, to Lawrence, "This book of a period gone forever ..." and with mention of superiority of wood-engravings to later photographically produced plates; drop-spine box; S&EH: another copy with variant binding design.
----. Cloth color not confirmed: Cleveland Public; William & Mary.
----. Rebound. Yale; NYPL.
----. Missing: Library of Congress NL 0594581; Seattle?; Duke?

MEREDITH'S POEMS. Poems. 1866-1871 American Catalog. 2 vols. 16mo. cl., $4, 1868.

1866. Poems. Lucile is one of two volumes. Spine has POEMS at top, LUCILE near middle. Green cloth, uniform with Cabinet edition, with gold cartouche on top board, 1865 date. S&EH.

----. Poems in two volumes, neither with Lucile. Uniform with Cabinet Edition, gold cartouche on top board, date 1865. BAP.

Last revised: 23 May 2021