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106269 106269_1 106269_2 106269_3
HARDY, Thomas.

A Laodicean;...

or, The Castle of the De Stancys. A Story of To-Day.

Availability: In stock

Published: London Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1881

Stock Code: 106269

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


First edition, printed in early December 1881 "in an edition presumably of 1,000 copies" (Purdy), rare in the original cloth; this copy from the library of Walter E. Smith, the pre-eminent modern bibliographer of Victorian fiction, with his pencilled ownership inscription to the front free endpaper of each volume. A Laodicean originally appeared as a serial in the European edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine December 1880 to December 1881, and in the US edition of Harper's from January 1881 and January 1882. It was then published by Harper's under their Franklin Square Library imprint on 25 November 1881 and issued to booksellers unbound: this iteration Purdy considers the true first edition, though the London edition was the first to contain Hardy's final revisions, with the novel originally written "under the gravest handicaps" after Hardy had fallen ill with just three instalments in type and was forced to dictate the rest to his wife from his sick-bed. The triple-decker format was largely adopted for sale to lending libraries, with sets retaining the original cloth in anything approaching collectable condition markedly uncommon.

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3 volumes, octavo. Original grey sand-grain cloth, spines lettered in gilt between blind-stamped three-line bands at head and foot, central publisher's device within three-line border to sides in blind, cream endpapers. Housed in a dark blue leather-entry slipcase.


Publisher's 32-page catalogue to rear of vol. II as issued.


Spines rolled and sunned, extremities lightly bumped with a few short nicks to spine-ends; library stamps effaced from spines, front covers of vols. I and II, and pastedowns, three adjacent strips of fading to vol. II front cover, a few pale red marks to front cover vol. III, occasional light foxing as usual, briefly heavier towards front of vols. I and II; light browning to half-titles, title-pages, final gatherings and vol. II quire D (different paper-stock). A very good copy.


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