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HARDY, Thomas.

The Writings.

[Including Far from the Madding Crowd; The Mayor of Casterbridge; Jude the Obscure; Tess of the D'Urbervilles; The Trumpet-Major; Two on a Tower; The Well-Beloved.] In Prose and Verse with Preface and Notes.

New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, [1920] Stock Code: 136745
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Contemporary New York binding

The Anniversary Edition, issued to celebrate Hardy's 80th birthday, out of series from an edition of 1,250 sets. From the library of the American intellectual Gore Vidal, unmarked as such, but with a certificate of provenance from the dealer to whom Vidal's library was sold.

This set is beautifully bound by the bindery of Whitman Bennett in New York. Bennett (18831968) spent his youth as successful film producer and director for Famous-Lasky and Paramount Studios, working on some of the most notable films of the silent era. He retired from Hollywood at the age of 40 to found Bennett Book Studios in 1924, establishing a reputation for American and English literature and fine bindings. His accompanying bindery specialised in "enhancing books with lavish leather bindings and was almost as important to the firm's success as the rare book department" (Dickinson, p. 16).

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21 volumes, octavo (223 x 149 mm). Contemporary blue half morocco by Whitman Bennett of New York, bound for William Harrison with his name and rampant griffin device in gilt to covers, twin orange and red morocco lakes, spines tooled in gilt, red marbled sides and endpapers, top edges gilt.


With photogravure frontispieces and plates throughout printed on china paper and with descriptive tissue guards.


Spines lightly sunned, some bumping to tips, a few patches of rubbing and stripping to morocco skilfully retouched. A very good set.


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