[inscribed by Meredith] London: John W. Parker and Son, n.d.. Original blind-stamped blue-violet cloth.
First Edition of George Meredith's first book, a volume of verse published when he was only 23 (and including many poems written at the age of 18 and earlier). Meredith had just married the widowed daughter of Thomas Love Peacock (to whom this book is dedicated); after she deserted him in 1858 (taking their son), Meredith acquired a strong distaste for this "juvenile" verse related to his marriage. Meredith then did what he could to suppress the edition, reportedly managing to destroy 300 copies.
This copy is in blind-stamped blue-violet cloth, lettered in gilt on the spine; Collie cites only the binding in green cloth, but Hayward notes this one as well ("no priority appears to exist"). Condition is near-fine (spine slightly faded, a few faint spots). Collie XXXVI; Buxton Forman 1; Hayward 270. Housed in a cloth slipcase.
This is a presentation copy inscribed by Meredith at the top of the title page, "J.W. Millais Esqre | from the Author." (As was proper in 19th-Century Britain, a new author/poet did not sign his or her name in presentation copies when they were as yet unknown.) John William Millais (1800-1870) was the father of John Everett Millais, the famous artist and illustrator who was one of the founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (and who it is believed first brought Meredith and Dante Gabriel Rossetti together). This copy, rather than having a printed errata slip tipped in at the rear, has the three errata written out in ink on the rear free endpaper -- apparently in Meredith's own hand. Meredith's first book is rather scarce; needless to say, inscribed presentation copies of his first book are much scarcer. Item #11316