Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1918. First Edition of the author’s widely acknowledged masterpiece. The plates are in the first state; bound by Bayntun in full red polished calf with a gilt decorated spine and blue and green title and author labels; very nearly fine. The first printing comprised 3500 copies, of which about 2500 were issued with the plates in the first state, printed on coated paper. Cather was meticulous in her specifications for the book’s production, commissioning W.T. Benda to do the illustrations. Particularly concerned that the illustrations be at their proper places in the book, she also wanted them to be on the same paper as the text. Apparently displeased with the production and promotion of this book, Cather subsequently left Houghton, Mifflin for Knopf, her publisher for the remainder of her career.