London: Archibald Constable, 1902. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. First (and only) Printing of one of the three landmark novels of James's "major phase." One of 4,000 copies published nine days after the American edition, which appeared in two volumes. Thick crown 8vo (185 x 120mm): ,576,16(undated publisher's catalog)pp. Original blue vertical fine-ribbed cloth, arabesque design ("floral loop" pattern of intertwined vines and leaves) to front cover in blind, spine and cover lettered in gold. Armorial book plate to fly leaf of Christopher Frevile Huntley (1912-2007), a descendant of Thackeray; ink initials to paste down. An excellent example, tightly bound, generally clean throughout, excepting several small stains to publisher's catalog. Edel & Laurence A56b. Modern Library 100 Best Novels, 26. Supino 56.4.0. Near Fine+. Item #BB1815
The Wings of the Dove is the "fulcrum of the august trinity of novels, The Ambassadors, The Wings of the Dove and The Golden Bowl, that James unleashed in the early years of the twentieth century . . . Weighty in size, they are mighty engines, profoundly serious products of a lifetime’s wisdom, but also daringly innovative, shovelling up the traditional novel into the indeterminacies of the modern. . . . The Wings of the Dove is not only a heavily plotted melodramatic morality with compelling 'scenes', but also a nuanced, witty linguistic investigation into the psychological attritions of consciousness. . . . [It] is metafictional in that it is a narrative in which James dramatises the tension between traditional and emergent modes of fiction." (Literary Encyclopedia) 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. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).