Lot 52 of 302:
Signed by Richard Henry Dana, w/ als   

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$5,100
$6,000 - $9,000

Two Years Before the Mast: A Personal Narrative of Life at Sea

[Dana, Richard Henry]

New York

Harper & Brothers



483 pp. (12mo), 15.5x9.5 cm (6x3¼"), original dark brown (or black) cloth, spine stamped in gilt;  custom half morocco slipcase & chemise. First Edition, first printing.

Signed in initials by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. with the following inscription: "Mrs. B.H. Hodge, With the respects & affections of R.H.D. Jr.". Tipped in on front pastedown is a manuscript presentation letter to Mrs. Hodge signed in full by Richard Henry Dana, dated 1840. Although we are not certain what the relationship was between Dana and Mrs. Hodge, there is an 1849 journal entry quoted in Richard Henry Dana: A Biography by Charles Francis Adams, p. 167: "Plymouth, July 22. Sunday. At church in the morning. In the afternoon, to please Mrs. Hodge, went to the Unitarian meeting, and heard Rev. Mr. Briggs. A fervid and rather well-written essay, founded entirely on natural religion..." .  Accepted first issue with dot over the "i" in the word "in" on copyright page, and the unbroken running head on page 9. Binding variant A.

"If not the most widely read book on California, certainly this ranks extremely high on such a list. The author sailed up and down the California coast, trading for hides, from January 1835, until May 1836. He possessed not only extraordinarily keen powers of observation but a fine facility for expressing his ideas in writing, which makes this volume an excellent and very readable record of his experiences" - Zamorano. BAL 4434A; Cowan p.156; Graff 998; Howes D49; Zamorano Eighty 26.

Lot Amendments

Chipping to spine with cracked joints, some rubbing to cloth, edges and corners; hinges tender, a couple chips or tears at lower margin, occasional stains with light foxing; overall very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.