Chicago: Herbert S. Stone, 1901. First Edition. First printing. Demi octavo; publisher's pictorial blue cloth, stamped in white on spine and front cover; page edges untrimmed; top edge gilt; 457,pp. Earliest state (per Blanck), on watermarked paper with errors on pp. 150, 334, and 401; in first binding, with publisher's imprint in all caps at base of spine. Presentation copy to the antiquarian bookseller and collector James F. Drake, inscribed and signed on front free endpaper: "First edition, first issue of this book, with the error on page 150 / George Barr McCutcheon;" undated but apparently contemporary with publication. McCutcheon's bookplate on front pastedown, as is typical of books presented by him. A later inscription from Drake presents this copy to a "Howard Eric, who knew them both," dated 1933. Some trivial rubbing to stamped portions on front board, still a fresh, fine copy in a custom cloth folding chemise and half-morocco slipcase (exterior of slipcase worn, with abrasions to leather spine and some staining to cloth).
Distinguished copy of McCutcheon's first book, the first volume in his Graustark series of fantasy romances and one of the first blockbuster novels of the 20th century, selling over 100,000 copies in its first year of publication. The recipient, James F. Drake, was the long-time proprietor of the eponymous New York rare book and autograph firm, founded in 1911 and operated continuously until 1965 (by Drake's sons following his death in 1933), when the firm's remaining stock was purchased by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.