Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1860. 16 pp Vol III undated ads. Original blind-stamped cinnamon-brown cloth.
First Edition. This is the sad tale of Maggie Tulliver, from the Dorlcote Mill on the Floss River -- a novel noteworthy more for its accurate depiction of rural characters than for its rather drastic solution to an intricate plot. The novel also helped to break new ground in what was "acceptable" fare for reading: on a boating trip Maggie is "innocently but irremediably compromised" by her cousin's fiancé -- a fate to be shared by Thomas Hardy's TESS over thirty years later.
This copy is in the first state, withOUT the preliminary ad leaf in Vol I; according to Carter, the leaf was inserted in the later copies issued. Also, this copy's Vol III ad catalogue is in the earlier state, citing the "Seventh Edition" of ADAM BEDE, rather than the "Eighth Edition." The volumes are in Carter's binding 'B', with the Edmonds & Remnants binder's ticket (the 'A' binding, identical except for the spine gilt, typically was by "Burn & Co."); Carter "hypothesizes" that 'B' might have followed 'A', but leaves it open to question.
This is a close-to-fine set, rather bright and clean and with scarcely any wear at the extremities (and no foxing on the leaves); only one of the delicate original endpapers is cracked at the hinge, and there is less than the usual amount of wrinkling of the spine cloth -- two frequent complaints for this title. Baker & Ross A5.1.a(1); Sadleir 816a; Wolff 2060; Carter BV pp 110-1 (& plate VIII). Provenance: all three volumes bear the signature of a woman in Sydenham, dated 22 May 1860 -- seven weeks after publication. Housed in an open-back case. Item #14836