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Jude the Obscure. With an Etching by H. Macbeth-Raeburn and a Map of Wessex.
London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1896 - Octavo. Original green cloth, gilt lettered spine, gilt roundel of Hardy's monogram within a floral wreath on front cover, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Spine rolled, front inner hinge a little shaken, endpapers a touch foxed. A very good copy. Etched frontispiece (with captioned tissue guard) by H. Macbeth-Raeburn, map at the end. First edition, first impression. "The records of neither printer nor publisher have survived in the case of Jude. [but] is is apparent that there was more than one impression of the novel. It is difficult to say if these are distinguishable. Signatures A-H do exist in two distinct states, however - with page numbers on partially blank pages and (conforming to usage throughout the remainder of the volume) without them. These 8 signatures are often found mixed (first and second state) indiscriminately (and in copies with contemporary inscriptions dated November 1895), but it is to be observed that all are in the first state in Hardy's own copy, and in the British Museum, Bodleian, and Cambridge copies" (Purdy). In the case of the present copy, of the 17 pages that fall into Purdy's categorisation only pages 38, 47, 57, and 64 are unnumbered. Jude the Obscure was Hardy's last novel, in which he "deliberately [attacked] the existing educational system and marriage laws. The novel's sexual directness fuelled the hostility of its reception in some quarters, and while Hardy affected to laugh off a bishop's claim to have consigned the book to the flames he could not easily remain indifferent to reviews with headings such as 'Jude the Obscene' and 'Hardy the Degenerate'" (ODNB). Purdy pp. 86–91. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2015-11-20           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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