[PALMER, John Williamson (1825-1906).] The Golden Dagon; or, Up and Down the Irrawaddi. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co., 1856.

A gift from Herman Melville to his brother, inscribed by him on the first blank: “Allan Melville from Herman Melville Oct 11 1856."

While the present copy bears the 1856 inscription, Herman's 23 March 1889 letter to John W. Palmer makes reference to the book: "To night my wife will conclude the reading to me of 'Up & Down the Irrawaddy.' Those stirring adventures ... make the book unique to me, and have interested me more than any volume I have read for a long time." Little is known about any friendship between Palmer and Herman Melville; Palmer worked as a doctor in in San Francisco during the gold rush of 1849 before settling in New York as a writer, editor, translator, and New-York Tribune correspondent—he would report on the Civil War from the South.

Tipped in to the present book is an autograph letter signed from Palmer to Allan Melville, New York, 17 March, no year, urgently requesting that he meet him that very afternoon. Horth, p.516, Sealts 396.2.

Octavo. (Author name pasted to title page, minor foxing internally and marginal light dampstain.) Original cloth (spine dulled, some loss at head, wear at tips).

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