Item #15430 THE PRIME MINISTER. Anthony Trollope.


[preceding the 4-vol. UK edition] Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, n.d. [1876]. Original green cloth decorated in black and gilt.

First Edition (preceding the four-volume English edition, but sharing the spotlight with an edition by Harper of New York, as both American editions were published at noon on May 17, 1876). With the serial format dying (following the death of its champion Dickens in mid-1870), Chapman & Hall experimented (unsuccessfully) with issuing THE PRIME MINISTER in eight monthly five-shilling parts from Nov 1875 through June 1876; they then published it in four cloth-bound volumes -- in "May 1876" according to Sadleir, but "on June 12th, 1876" according to Smith.

American publication of this title was very curious... Porter & Coates paid Harper 175 pounds for advance sheets and the right to publish simultaneously -- which they did. P&C came out with the novel at three different prices: for 75¢ in paper wrappers in their "Library of Approved Novels," for $1.25 in cream cloth in their "International Series" or in green (as here) or terra-cotta cloth, and for $1.50 in fancier (black-and-gold) cloth. Harper issued the novel only in wrappers (though cloth was advertised) -- at the same 75¢ -- later reduced (with a different wrapper) to 60¢, to drive down P&C's sales.

Condition of this substantial 690-page volume is very good-plus, with minor wear at the extremities, light flecking of the cloth, and some cracking of the original brown-coated endpapers. Smith pp 199-203. Both the Harper and the P&C editions -- true first editions both -- are quite scarce. Item #15430

Price: $650.00

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