New York: Norman L. Munro, n.d. [July 16, 1883]. Original printed terra-cotta wrappers.
A very early, but not quite first, edition of this "short hastily written novel" [Hardy himself]. It constituted his first contribution to the Graphic in England -- as the Summer Number for 1883; it was also arranged to appear simultaneously (in seven instalments) in Harper's Weekly in America. As Purdy notes, Harper knew the pirate publishers would be quick to copy it, so they published the entire piece as a volume of Harper's "Franklin Square Library" at the end of June (four days after the Graphic appearance), when only one of the seven American instalments had come out. This did not forestall the pirates, however -- as volumes quickly came out in George Munro's "Seaside Library," John Lovell's "Lovell's Library," and, as here, in Norman Munro's "Munro's Library -- which bears on its front cover the date July 16, 1883, less than three weeks after Harper's complete version. Incidentally, other than the Summer Number of the Graphic, this tale was not published in the U. K. for thirty years -- when it was included in A CHANGED MAN in 1913.
This copy is in very good condition, still in the original terra-cotta wrappers (a bit of edge-wear, mainly at the foot of the spine; early signature at the top of the title page and on several other leaves). A rather uncommon survival. See Purdy pp 48-49. Item #11484