New York: Published by Harper & Brothers … and Sold by the principal Booksellers throughout the United States. 1834. Original Cloth. First American Edition of Bulwer’s hugely successful novel, complete in two duodecimo volumes. xii,,9–240; 201,,28(publisher’s catalogue),[further advertisements)pp. Original publisher’s peach-colored cloth, printed paper spine labels, contemporary manuscript ex-libris to title pages. Spines a shade lightened, else an exceptionally crisp, clean, well-preserved set, in early American cloth. Fine. Item #BB1595
First published in London the same year, The Last Days of Pompeii, Bulwer's single most successful book, "rapidly achieved classic status and remained a best-seller for the rest of the century; it was translated into at least ten languages (no fewer than sixteen French impressions had been issued by 1864), was frequently dramatized, and twice adapted as an opera. Two years after the death of [Walter] Scott, Bulwer's epic tale of Roman indulgence, Christian martyrdom, and the cataclysmic eruption of Vesuvius established him as the most popular historical novelist of the day." (ODNB) The novel was inspired by both Bulwer's visit to the ruins of Pompeii and by Karl Briullov’s monumental painting The Last Days of Pompeii, which Bulwer saw when it was exhibited in Milan, in 1828. Walter Scott described the painting as an "epic in colors," and it inspired a poem by Pushkin. After many years at the Louvre, it is now housed at the State Russian Museum, in St. Petersburg. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.