THE HEATHEN CHINEE ... Illustrated by Joseph Hill ... [envelope title]. Chicago: The Western News Company, 121 & 123 State St., 1870. Small quarto, nine lithographed cards enclosed in an original elaborately lithographed envelope. First printing of the first separate edition. Harte's poem first appeared as "Plain Language from Truthful James" in the September 1870 issue of the OVERLAND MONTHLY, an influential early California literary magazine edited by Harte. "The poem was written as a parody of Algernon Charles Swinburne's "Atalanta in Calydon" (1865) and satirized anti-Chinese sentiment in northern California. The poem became popular and was frequently republished. To Harte's dismay, however, the poem reinforced racism among his readers instead of challenging it as he intended." - Wikipedia. BAL 7248 (printing 1). Merle Johnson, You Know These Lines!, pp. 71-75. First card a bit foxed, several cards cut slightly off center (as is usually the case; the cards were printed on a large sheet and then cut apart). The envelope is worn, foxed, missing its flap, and open on three sides. This set of cards is accompanied by another set of first printing cards, most of which are a bit tanned, which lacks the envelope. The set of cards with envelope is enclosed in a cloth folder and green crushed morocco slipcase which is worn at edges and has a faded spine panel. A classic of Western American literature. (#160995).
No statement of printing.