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Published by Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1895
Measures 8.5x6 inches Weighs 2 pound 1 ounces

Condition: Good.
Amazingly good condition. Dark red cloth boards and gold decoration at front text and spine.
Former owner name in neat script on second blank leaf, dated May 1898.
Part of the collection of the S.F. Women's Club, and a cardholder residue remain on front endpages, as well as the original card, last checkout date of April 4 1934
Extremely clean pages, text is crisp.
A bit of fraying and scuffing at edges of boards.

DR. HOLMES had much to say in his writings of the problems of heredity, and ws_
apparently as ready to recognize the caprices as the regular action of inherited tenden­
cies. He may have speculated over his own descent when he wrote, in The Poet at the
Breakfast-Table, "The various inherited instincts ripen in succession. You may be nine
tenths paternal at one period of your life, and nine tenths maternal at another. All at
once the traits of some immediate ancestor may come to maturity unexpectedly on one
of the branches of your character, just as your features at different periods of your life
betray different resemblances to your nearer or more remote relatives." One would
fain believe that the thin poetic blood of his early ancestor Anne Bradstreet had been
enriched by its secret passage through the veins of several generations before it issued
in the warm pulsations of this poet of our day; but as for those generous, even passionate
instincts of patriotism, and that strong impulse toward lawful freedom which character­
ized the wit and philosopher, one may readily take into account the whole strain of Dr.
Holmes's ancestry on both sides.
With the exception of a Dutch strain a few generations before, these ancestors were of
few England origin, going back to the early colonial days. John Holmes, of Puritan
irtli, settled in Woodstock, Connecticut, in 1686. His grandson, David Holmes, served
captain of British troops in the French and Indian war and later as a surgeon in the
Revolutionary army. The son of this David was the Reverend Abiel Holmes, who was
aduated at Yale College in 1782, and after a six years' pastorate in Georgia came to
ambridge, Massachusetts, where he was pastor over the first parish for forty years, and
uring^his pastorate beside other writings and lectures compiled The Annals of America,
trustworthy and creditable historical survey. His second wife was a daughter of
liver Wendell, and her ancestry besides its Dutch strain was connected with the Phil-
pses, Quincys, and other well-known New England families.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, the third child and eldest son of Abiel and Mary Wendell
olmes, was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 29,1809. " The year 1809," he
ys, in Our Hundred Days in Europe, " which introduced me to atmospheric existence, was
e birth-year of Gladstone, Tennyson, Lord Houghton, and Darwin." But the circum-
ces of his birth were as distinct from those that attended the appearance of his illustri-
contemporaries as New England was sharply discriminated from old England. The
atmosphere, however, into which he was born, was a fresh, clear, and not unscholarly one.
It was, moreover, charged with historical traditions. Cambridge was a village, but a
village dominated by college life. The house in which the poet was born shared until a
wcent day the honors with the Craigie House, its neighbor. For in the early days of the
Revolution, when studies at Harvard College were suspended, this old gambrel-roofed
nojHe had been the headquarters of General Artemas Ward and of the Committee of
I ft* uPon the steps of the house stood President Langdon of Harvard College, so
tlon 8ays, and prayed for the men, who, halting there a few moments, marched...

The Complete Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes Cambridge Edition Houghton Mifflin and Company 1895 Antique Book, Poems


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  • Vintage item from the 1800s
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