New York: Harper & Brothers, 1854. Original light brown printed wrappers.

First American Edition of this epistolary novel, presented by Lever as 74 letters written by and to various people of the cast. Lever portrays an Irish family seeking to economize by living on the Continent, specifically in Italy -- just like the Lever family, as he would later serve as British Vice-Consul in La Spezia and then as Consul in the Austro-Hungarian (but Italian-speaking) city of Trieste -- a post that he would assume from Sir Richard Burton. Lord Derby offered him the Trieste position with the memorable line "Here is six hundred a year for doing nothing, and you are just the man to do it"; Lever subsequently described himself as "Her Majesty's Flunkey".

This US edition was issued "unabridged and unaltered" as No. 187 in Harper's "Library of Select Novels" -- priced at $1.25 in cloth or at 75¢ (as here) in paper wrappers. The UK edition, illustrated by "Phiz," came out both in two volumes and in one volume during 1854; this Harper's edition, 259 pages of (un-illustrated) double-column text, came out in May or June of that same year. (Bareham notes, however, that Harper began issuing 5¢ parts in September 1852.)

This is a near-fine copy (very minor edge-wear but quite presentable) -- remarkable condition for an 1854 book in wrappers, meant to be read once or maybe twice and then discarded. Bareham 16.4. Item #14746

Price: $475.00

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