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Rujub, the Juggler.

Published: London: Chatto & Windus, 1893

Stock code: 46919

Price: £12,500

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First edition of this adult novel, published in America under Henty’s intended title, In the Days of the Mutiny, which Chatto & Windus rejected for fear it would lead it to be mistaken for one of Henty’s children’s books. This is one of only seven multi-volume titles by Henty. “In the 1890s, among the last three-deckers to appear in Britain, Chatto and Windus published four novels by Henty. The first, Rujub, the Juggler, was the most popular, 11,000 copies being sold, practically all within three years. It was the eighth of his eleven adult novels: though selling fewer copies than his best boys’ books, the later titles were, contrary to often expressed belief, remarkably popular” (ODNB). The imminent demise of the three-decker format explains the lavishness of the cloth decoration here, a doomed attempt to justify the expense of such a publication format. By the end of the following year, the three-volume novel was effectively dead.

3 volumes, octavo. Original blue morocco-grain cloth, titles to spines gilt, floral designs to boards in copper, pale brown-on-white floral endpapers. Housed in a dark blue cloth solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. A little very light rubbing to extremities, spines a touch sunned, minor spotting to edges. Otherwise an excellent set with the decorative cloth fresh and bright.

Bibliography: Dartt, pp. 114-15; Newbolt 56.1; Wolff 3164 ("a book almost never to be seen").

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