With an Etching by H. Macbeth-Raeburn and a Map of Wessex. (London:) James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., (1896). Original dark blue-green cloth with monogram device in gilt.
First Edition of Hardy's last great novel, issued as Vol. VIII of "The Wessex Novels." Titled HEARTS INSURGENT at the time of its serial appearance, the book was ahead of its time; the depiction of Jude and his cousin Sue settling down together and having two children (though unmarried) was too much for the 1890s public. After JUDE (and due in part to the outcry over it), Hardy was to spend his remaining 30+ years writing only verse.~In this copy, the last pages of chapters are numbered only in gatherings "B" plus "E"-through-"H". Some copies have such pages numbered in "A" through "H", but in most copies, as here, some but not all of the first eight gatherings have numbered pages, presumably as later sheets were gradually altered to conform to the latter part of the book (they are never numbered in gatherings "I" onward).~This is a very good-plus copy, perhaps near-fine (spine cloth slightly wrinkled, a touch of wear at the corners, endpapers slightly cracked). Purdy pp 86-91. Item #13919