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GODWIN, William.


A Tale of the Seventeenth Century in England.

Edinburgh: Archibald Constable and Co.; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, London, 1817 Stock Code: 139646
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"One of Godwin's most extraordinary works"

First edition of "one of Godwin's most extraordinary works" (Locke, p. 278). Mandeville, Godwin's fourth novel, is a gothic work set in the time of the English Civil War. Godwin wrote this, often considered his darkest novel, surrounding the time of his daughter Mary's official marriage to Percy Bysshe Shelley on 30 December 1816. Three days after the ceremony Godwin awoke from a "vehemently impassioned dream", and "in Mandeville gave vent to feelings he could articulate in no other way", producing "a story of malignity and hatred, and a malevolence that tips into insanity, a story of black bile and bitter gall" (ibid. p. 276, p. 278). The work was popularly very well-received, and an unauthorized fourth volume, entitled Mandeville: the Last Words of a Maniac, was published by Effingham Wilson in 1818. Claiming to be written by Mandeville himself, the pretended sequel is most often credited to an S. J. Arnold.

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3 volumes, duodecimo (178 x 104 mm). Contemporary red straight-grain half calf, titles to spines in gilt, spines ruled in gilt in compartments, blue marbled paper sides, marbled edges.


With half-titles.


Bound without the scarce two leaf advertisement catalogue. Contemporary bookplate of William Kemmis to front pastedowns. Spines uniformly sunned, slight wear to board edges, sides rubbed, top edges dust toned, very occasional foxing and finger marks, else contents notably bright; a very good copy.


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