A Novel. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1879. Original self-wrappers.
First American Edition, published as Number 37 in Harper's "Franklin Square Library." This is one of Trollope's last, and today one of his scarcest, novels. Fred Neville, some day to be Earl of Scroope, is torn between what is proper (marry a young English Protestant lady of high breeding and prepare for a life of ease as the Earl) and what is morally right (marry the Irish Catholic girl who bears his child, much against the will of his parents). Throw in an Irish father who is a convict, and an Irish mother with a hot temper, and the result is tragic.~AN EYE FOR AN EYE was serialized in the Whitehall Review from August 1878 through February 1879, and was published in two volumes by Chapman & Hall of London in early January 1879. Harper published this edition on January 17, 1879, paying ten pounds to Chapman & Hall for sending them a set of advance sheets.~"The Cheapest Publication in the World" according to the Philadelphia Press, Harper's Franklin Square Library had been founded the previous spring to deserve that description -- tabloid-sized, printed in triple-column (later double-), with no illustrations, priced at ten (later fifteen) cents.~The Franklin Square Library was intended to... present works of some of the most popular authors to American readers "who may not find it convenient to encumber themselves with books or periodicals too costly to be cast aside after perusal." This new series and its advertising logic sounded the death knell for collectors... Their fragility, format, and ephemeral makeup discouraged most buyers from keeping them. Despite the thousands of copies printed of each title in the series, few have survived. Trollope editions in the series are of the utmost rarity and those that have survived are generally defective... First editions published in newspaper format after early 1878... are rarely seen for sale and are usually found only in private collections and in certain research libraries. [W. Smith]~This copy is from the first impression, as described in the Smith bibliography. It is complete in 35 pages of text plus five pages of ads (the front page serving as self-wrapper, its top half devoted to series and novel headings). This copy does not have an outer (advertising) wrapper, and in fact it is unknown whether any copies were issued with one (Walter Smith could not locate a single first or second impression copy with an outer wrapper). Condition is very good-plus (very minor soil and edge-wear, but much less than one would expect for such a fragile piece). Smith 42. Housed in a custom clamshell case with inner four-flap wrapper. The first copy we have seen in our thirty years in business. Item #11229