A Novel. London: Richard Bentley, 1859. Original blind-stamped red cloth with spine decorated and lettered in gilt..
First one-volume edition (and second printing overall) of Trollope's sixth book -- immediately following THE WARDEN (1855) and BARCHESTER TOWERS (1857). Three civil servants (one of them modeled after junior post office clerk Anthony Trollope himself) pursue three daughters of a clergyman's widow... About this novel Trollope later wrote in his Autobiography,
It was certainly the best novel I had yet written... [It] contains the first well-described love-scene that I ever wrote. The passage in which Kate Woodward, thinking that she will die, tries to take leave of the lad she loves, still brings tears to my eyes when I read it.
THE THREE CLERKS first came out in three volumes in late 1857 (but dated 1858); we have never had the three-volume first edition in either of its original bindings. This 460-page 5-shilling edition was next, in January 1859; for this edition, the text that had formed Chapter XII of Volume II (pp 251-275 in that volume) was omitted. As with the three-decker, this was published without half-title or ad catalogue. Condition is near-fine (quite bright and with very little wear, other than a worn spot on the front cover).
Provenance: at the top of the title page is the signature "Buckingham & Chandos": if signed between 1859 and 1861, this is the signature of the 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos -- Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (1797-1861); if this copy was not signed until after mid-1861, then it would have been by the 3rd Duke, Richard Plantagenet Campbell Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (1823-1889) -- after which, with no male heirs, the dukedom became extinct. Sadleir (TROLLOPE) 6. Item #14204