London: Richard Bentley, New Burlington Street, 1858. First Edition. Three-Quarter Morocco. First Printings, complete in three volumes, one of only 1,000 sets. 8vo's: iv,340; iv,322; iv,334pp. Three-quarter blue morocco over French blue cloth, spines in six compartments paneled in gilt (four with central gilt ornament, two lettered directly in gilt), top edges gilt, marbled end papers. Provenance: bookplates of bibliophile Joseph Spencer Graydon to front paste downs. An excellent set, Near Fine or better (spines sunned, but gilt still bright; modest edge wear). Sadleir, Trollope, 6. NCBEL III, 882. Wolff 6796. Near Fine+. Item #BB1170
Trollope's sixth novel, written, according to the Trollope Society, "mostly in railway carriages, since his work for the Post Office [Trollope joined the London post office at age 19 and worked there in various capacities for the next 33 years] still entailed a good deal of travelling . . . The story is drawn from his memories of his work (as a clerk) at the GPO in St Martin-le-Grand, and Richard Mullen has called it the most autobiographical of Trollope's novels. The plot concerns three civil servants, Henry Norman and the cousins Alaric and Charley Tudor. They are involved with the three daughters of a clergyman's widow, Mrs Woodward. . . . The third of the clerks, . . . [t]he character of Charley Tudor, has long been claimed as an autobiographical portrait of Trollope, 'in his hobbledehoy days'. . . Trollope sent the novel to his mother in Italy, and from there it made its way to the home of Elizabeth Barrett Browning; she read it with great enjoyment, but reported in a letter that the grave illness Katie Woodward faces in the third volume of the novel 'wrung [her] to tears'. (Trollope himself always cried when he read this particular section). She concluded: 'My husband, who can seldom get a novel to hold him, has been held by this . . . what a thoroughly man's book it is!'" In fact, Trollope considered this "certainly the best novel I had yet written . . . the work has a more continued interest, and contains the first well-described love-scene that I ever wrote" (Trollope, Autobiography). N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.