London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1890. Original patterned paper-covered boards with brown cloth spines.
First Edition, which consisted of 1,000 copies (of which, according to the publisher, only 492 were sold -- but that may have been Bentley's ruse to avoid paying Gissing "bonuses" that would kick in if 850 or all 1,000 were to sell). The young widow Miriam Baske leaves grey Lancashire for the sun of Naples, Italy, where she finds herself among many of her countrymen in a vastly different social scene -- similar to some of Henry James's accounts of transplanted Americans and Britishers, and reminiscent of MIDDLEMARCH. The novel marked the beginning of Gissing's series of psychological novels, "which were less concerned with the effects of environment and more concerned with the emotional and intellectual conflicts experienced by socially alienated characters" [Collie].
This was the only one of Gissing's novels to have been published by Bentley -- though Bentley had earlier paid for but not published MRS. GRUNDY'S ENEMIES, suppressed on moral grounds.
This is a very good-plus copy (some wear at the Vol I fore-corners and a little at the head of its spine). Coustillas A8.1; Collie A8a; Spiers & Coustillas L1; Sadleir 966; Wolff 2546. Item #14562