A Novel. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1882. Undated endpaper ads. Original mustard yellow cloth decorated in black.
First American Edition, issued as No. 142 in Holt's "Leisure Hour Series." This is Hardy's tale about a young astronomer and an older woman of superior wealth and rank, brought together in a tower by their interest in viewing the stars; the author engaged in considerable research about astronomy and telescopes in preparing to write the book. TWO ON A TOWER proved distressful to many readers, and especially to the Church: the woman becomes pregnant by the astronomer, but thereupon entraps a bishop into marriage and fatherhood. As Purdy points out, the pirated editions in "Lovell's Library" and "Munro's Seaside Library" came out within days of this, with precedence uncertain; however, Holt's is usually regarded as the primary one, since it was the authorized edition.~In this copy the endpaper ads are primary -- listing no Hardy titles published after this one. Condition is bright and just-about fine, with a few gatherings of leaves standing slightly proud but with scarcely any of the wear (and none of the soil) that usually afflict this binding. Purdy p. 47. Item #12583