(London: Tinsley Brothers, 1872). 192 x 130 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 1/4"). Two volumes. FIRST EDITION. ONE OF PRESUMABLY 500 COPIES (according to Purdy).
FINE MAROON CRUSHED MOROCCO BY ZAEHNSDORF (stamp-signed on rear turn-in), covers with triple gilt fillet border, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with vase and garland centerpiece, gilt titling, turn-ins with gilt floral vine roll, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Purdy, p. 6; Sadleir 1117. A BEAUTIFUL COPY, the bindings entirely unworn and unusually bright, and the text with no signs of use.
This is a handsomely bound copy of Hardy's rare second novel, the first of his Wessex stories. A gentle and optimistic tale compared to his darker later works, it relates the romance of Dick Dewy, a church musician in rural Mellstock, and Fancy Day, the young schoolteacher who, as organist, will soon supplant Dick and his fiddlers in the Mellstock church. DNB calls this is a "deeply personal" novel--Hardy's father was, like Dick, a church musician whose position was usurped by the "newfangled" organ--and notes that it "possesses a deceptively simple elegance unmatched by any of Hardy's later fiction." That phrase could also be used to describe the tasteful, understated binding expertly crafted with high quality materials by one of England's leading binderies. (ST12957)
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PJP Catalog: 71.178