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Jude the Obscure.
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HARDY, Thomas.

Jude the Obscure.

With an Etching by H. Macbeth-Raeburn and a Map of Wessex.

Published: London: Osgood, McIlvaine, and Co., 1896

Stock code: 74084

Price: £15,000

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition, first impression, of Hardy’s final novel, published on 1 November 1895. Copies of this edition in dust jacket are scarce: we know of fewer than ten extant. The page numbering was altered during printing, so that sigs. A-H exist in two distinct states, often found mixed. In the first state page numbers are present on partially blank pages, but this was altered so that numbers were omitted at the chapter endings (in conformity with the later gatherings). This copy is predominantly in early state, with all but two page numbers present in the first eight signatures.

Octavo. Original green cloth, titles to spine and roundel to front board gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. With the dust jacket. Housed in a dark green quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Etched frontispiece on series-title verso, map of Wessex at end. Contents mildly toned, endpapers lightly browned, patch of cloth lifting on the lower board but an exceptionally nice copy in the frayed and chipped dust jacket with a 36 mm (1 in) piece missing at the foot of the spine panel costing the publisher’s name.

Bibliography: Purdy pp. 86–91.

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