[signed by George MacDonald] London: Tinsley Brothers, 1868. Original maroon cloth decorated in gilt (portraying medieval-style external book hinges).
First Edition. This is the second novel in MacDonald's "Marshmallows Trilogy" -- the other two being ANNALS OF A QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD (Hurst & Blackett 1867) and THE VICAR'S DAUGHTER (Tinsley 1872, same style binding as this). It takes place in the English seaside village of Bude (the father of the family, a vicar, is serving as interim pastor there), and is the result of a MacDonald family vacation there.
This is a near-fine set (spines slightly faded as always with maroon, just a hint of wear at the tips, minor bubbling of the cloth on Vol I). Wolff (4304) had only a set in the secondary binding, without hinge decoration or publisher's name); Sadleir did not have a copy at all. Housed in an open-back case.
The half-title of Vol I is signed by George MacDonald (actually, MacDonald inscribed it to someone, but the inscription itself is rubbed away; recipients often did this -- or clip the leaf -- when selling an inscribed book, as they didn't want it to be public knowledge that they needed to do so). Item #14105