Item #15423 SILAS MARNER: The Weaver of Raveloe. George Eliot, Marian Evans.
SILAS MARNER: The Weaver of Raveloe.
SILAS MARNER: The Weaver of Raveloe.

SILAS MARNER: The Weaver of Raveloe.

[the "A" binding, fine] Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1861. 16 pp undated ads + 4 pp (Carlyle) ads bearing January 1861 reviews. Original blind-stamped cinnamon-brown cloth.

First Edition of George Eliot's only single-volume novel ("a short and simple one, but flawlessly fashioned").

SILAS MARNER is a novel of remarkable quality. Idyllic, certainly, but nowhere does it strain belief or offer coincidence as a resolution... There is not a superfluous line in the narrative and the book has charm, a quality rarely found in the work of the great Victorian novelists [CGEL].

This was George Eliot's third novel, following ADAM BEDE and THE MILL ON THE FLOSS (published in the prior two years, also by Blackwood); after SILAS MARNER she would temporarily abandon her successful environment of rural England, and fail miserably with ROMOLA, sited in 1490s Italy.

This copy is in Carter's "binding A," with the more elaborate giltwork on the spine (a variation also present on Eliot's two prior novels); Carter theorizes that if either binding preceded the other, it would have to be "A", but acknowledges that the two may have been concurrent. (In our experience "A" is certainly the scarcer, in any event.) This copy has the two leaves of Alexander Carlyle ads at the rear; these extra leaves appear only in some copies, and in some cases they are bound in at the front instead.

This is a remarkably fine copy (a tiny hole in the rear endpaper gutter, but otherwise without wear or soil). The leaves have very little foxing. Baker & Ross A6.1.a; Sadleir 819 (his was a "B" binding); Wolff 2063 (binding not specified); Carter BV pp 110-112. Housed in a handsome morocco-backed clamshell case with marbled covers. Provenance: the front paste-down bears the 1960 bookplate of the famed bibliophile and bibliographer (and biographer of R.M. Ballantyne), Eric S. Quayle (1921-2001). Item #15423

Price: $3,750.00

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