Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1890. First edition. Complete in two volumes. By the American ex-pat sculptor perhaps most famous for his works “Cleopatra” (described in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s THE MARBLE FAUN) and “Angel of Grief” sculpted for the grave of his wife in Rome and replicated elsewhere. CONVERSATIONS IN A STUDIO collects and expands on Story’s "In a Studio" pieces for Blackwood's Magazine, which are dialogues between two imaginary men in a studio -- "Belton" and "Mallett" -- who amiably bloviate on quite a wide range of topics and themes ranging from art and beauty to politics and people. William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) gave up the practice of law in Boston to study sculpture in Italy, where his "studio in Rome became something of a literary salon, frequented by his friends Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Russell Lowell, and Henry James, who would later write Story’s biography" and who counted among his closest friends, the English poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning [website of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts]. 12mo gilt-stamped blue cloth boards; top edges gilt; 578 pages including 24-page index. Bright and nearly fine with Boston bookseller labels in each volume and small "Accept our thanks for remittance" card laid in. Scarce with both volumes present in the first printing.