With Thirty-two Illustrations by George H. Thomas. In Two Volumes. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1867. Original blue cloth decorated in gilt.
First Edition in book form of the last title in Trollope's Barsetshire series. The tale, which the author later claimed was "the best novel I have written," revolves about the curate of Hogglestock and his apparent theft of a twenty-pound cheque.
This is one of the most bibliographically-complex of Trollope's works -- the tale was first issued in serial parts (of which two variants "a" and "b" are known), and was then issued in book form (of which there is both a second issue, identical to variant "b" of the parts issue, and a third issue, really a second edition since it includes a resetting of preliminary leaves). Things are further confused by the fact that Smith, Elder sold empty cloth cases to customers who had bought the serial parts, encouraging them to have their serial parts bound into books (with their own choice of page-edge treatment and type of endpapers).
As for this set, there ARE stab-holes evident, so this is a set bound up from the original serial parts -- though it seems to be of mixed variants: "The right of Translation is reserved" does appear on both title versos (versi?), which is state "a", but for example the semi-colon is absent in the plate underline opposite page 289 in Vol II (state "b"). Vol II does not have the ad leaf, which usually appears only in first (serial) issue copies. The endpapers in both volumes are original, a creamy white -- which may indicate a set of parts put into the binding cases for a parts subscriber (by the Brighton bookseller whose small label appears on each front endpaper?).
Condition is on the whole very good -- with one endpaper cracked (but tight), and with evidence at the top of each front cover that a lending library's label must have once resided there. There is minor wear at the binding extremities, and near the foot of the Vol I spine some gilt has flaked off (perhaps a droplet-mark?). Sadleir (TROLLOPE) 26. Item #14624