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Vivian Grey. [And:] Key to Vivian Grey. Tenth edition.
London: Henry Colburn; [and] William Marsh, 1826–7 - 5 volumes, large duodecimo (198 x 120 mm). Contemporary brown half morocco, spines lettered in gilt, marbled paper sides and endpapers, top edges gilt, others untrimmed. Bookplate to front pastedowns. Short closed tear to vol II, another to vol. III, expertly repaired. Slight wear to extremities, light foxing to edges, small abrasion to half-title of vol. II; an excellent set. Half-titles to vols. II and V; as issued. Bound without ads. Key to Vivian Grey complete with the half-title and single advertisement leaf. First edition of Disraeli's first novel, a "sensational roman-à-clef in the then fashionable silver-fork style" published at the age of 21 (ODNB). The first section was published anonymously in two volumes in April 1826 to largely disfavourable reviews, despite its public popularity, due to its "combination of unmistakable self-exposure and reckless satire . moreover, Murray and Lockhart, men of great influence in literary circles, were deeply offended by the sneering treatment of characters based on them" (ibid.). In 1853 Disraeli took advantage of his fame "to bring out a shilling edition of his novels (including a drastically revised Vivian Grey); this sold 300,000 copies in a year" (ibid.). Bound into volume V is the Key to Vivian Grey complete with the original paper wrapper. This anonymous guide first appeared in the journal The Star Chamber on the 24 May 1826. Many believe it was also written by Disraeli due to its insight into which high society figures inspired which characters. With the 20th-century bookplate of Robert Hayhurst, Lancashire retail chemist and bibliophile, to the front free endpaper of vol. I. Hayhurst was a discriminating collector of 18th-century literature in well-preserved contemporary bindings. Sadlier 734 & 734a; Wolff 1846. [Attributes: First Edition]
      [Bookseller: Peter Harrington. ABA member]
Last Found On: 2017-09-23           Check availability:      ZVAB    

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