In Three Volumes. With Six Illustrations by J. E. Millais, R.A. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1861. 16 pp Vol III ads dated May 1861. Original blind-stamped purple-brown cloth with gilt-decorated spines.
First Edition. This was the fourth of the six Barsetshire Novels, centering about the Rev. Mark Robarts and his inadvertent run-in with moneylenders. Trollope later commented in his autobiography,~The story was thoroughly English. There was a little fox-hunting and a little tufthunting, some Christian virtue and some Christian cant. There was no heroism and no villainy. There was much Church, but more lovemaking.~Trollope, in fact HAD to make this a thoroughly English story -- because when Smith Elder paid him £1,000 for it (to begin in the very first issue of their new monthly magazine The Cornhill, with W.M. Thackeray at its helm), they stipulated that it must be "thoroughly English," rejecting his Irish CASTLE RICHMOND. This was Trollope's first novel to be serialized prior to book publication, and accordingly it was also his first novel to be illustrated -- by the famous Pre-Raphaelite artist J.E. Millais.~This is a near-fine set, still in the delicate original cloth. The volumes have no re-backing, no re-casing, no restoration, in all no "sophistication" of any kind. There is some very minor edge-wear (slight loss at the foot of Vol I's spine, but otherwise just a few little nicks), and as usual some of the (original) endpapers are cracked -- though the volumes remain tight. There is NO evidence that this set ever belonged to a lending library -- which is unusual since most copies (of this title and of most all Victorian three-deckers) went directly from the publisher to the lending libraries. ~Sadleir notes that FRAMLEY PARSONAGE is found "seldom in good state," and ranks the novel (irrespective of condition) in the scarcer half of Trollope's titles; it is exceedingly scarce in this condition. Each front endpaper bears the discreet bookplate of the major collector / bibliographer Michael Sadleir, and the front endpaper of Vol I bears the penciled signature of Walter Smith -- so this one copy has belonged to BOTH of Trollope's major bibliographers! Sadleir (Trollope) 11 (with ad catalogue dated April 1861). Item #13474