Item #15427 THE CLAVERINGS. In Two Volumes. Anthony Trollope.


[fine and bright] With Sixteen Illustrations by M. Ellen Edwards. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1867. 2 pp undated ads in each volume. Original green cloth elaborately decorated in black and gilt, board edges beveled.

First Edition of these adventures of Harry Clavering, beginning with Julia Brabazon jilting him in favor of a wealthy old debauchee.

It is a novel of atmosphere, and the atmosphere is of that sort very dangerous for the English novelist...; the green-lighted, close-scented gambling rooms, the shabby adventures of half-deserted spas, the shelving beaches of foreign watering-places, concealed accents, stolen passports, impoverished counts and impertinent ladies' maids... [Walpole, quoted in Gerould]

Trollope himself later recalled that "I consider the story as a whole to be good, though I am not aware that the public ever corroborated that verdict." There were no subsequent two-volume editions following this first one.

Sadleir notes two very similar binding variants: one (presumably earlier) with the front covers and spines stamped in gilt and in black, and the other identical except that the black-stamping is replaced by blind-stamping. This copy is in between -- a variant not noted by Sadleir: there is black-and-gold-stamping on the spines, but gold-and-blind-stamping on the front covers (there is always just blind-stamping on the rear covers).

Condition is remarkably fine and bright, with the only flaws being a tiny rubbed spot at the foot of Volume I's spine, and one slightly cracked (original) coffee-brown endpaper. Sadleir (TROLLOPE) 27; Wolff 6771 (with cloth stamping identical to this set's). Housed in a handsome morocco-backed slipcase with black leather labels, with inner chemise. Provenance (in addition to binder Burn's ticket in Vol I and Glasgow bookseller MacLehose's ticket in Vol II): bookplates of Philadelphian Moncure Biddle (1882-1956), whose library was sold at Parke-Bernet Galleries in 1952 (lot 749), plus bookplates of "Yardley." Item #15427

Price: $5,250.00

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