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Framley Parsonage
London: Smith, Elder, 1861. First edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Millais. This is a Very Good copy (wear to board corners, one hinge expertly repaired) of Framley Parsonage in a RARE 3 Volumes in 1 format. This issue was unknown to Sadleir and we have never heard of, nor have we ever seen, another copy in over 25 years. While an integral part of Trollope's famed Barchester series of novels (being the 4th novel in that series), Framley Parsonage is an important work of Victorian fiction in its own right. Although he had had some limited (and we do mean limited) success with certain of his earlier novels, with Framley Parsonage Trollope had indeed "arrived" as a novelist. His most successful novel to date had been Dr. Thorne. Because of Dr. Thorne's success, Trollope's next novel was likely to be expectantly received by the reading public. Trollope, while working on an Irish tale called Castle Richmond, wrote to William Thackeray proposing himself for publication in the Cornhill Magazine, which was to begin publication in January, 1860 with Thackeray as editor. Thackeray wrote kindly and enthusiastically to Trollope about his proposal, and Smith, Elder (the publisher) wrote separately in late October, 1859 proposing to pay Trollope 1,000 Pounds (for Trollope an astonishing sum and much more than he had received for any of his previous works) for a three volume tale on condition that the first installment be in their hands no later than December 12th. Trollope proposed Castle Richmond, his novel then in progress, but Smith, Elder rejected it and insisted that Trollope instead provide a novel with an English setting and a clerical theme. This demand led Trollope to write Framley Parsonage, a thoroughly English novel, and the short time allotted forced him to place Framley Parsonage near Barchester and to fall back on his old friends, the Proudies and the archdeacon, the fictional world where Trollope had first developed his charm and genius. Castle Richmond, then accepted by Chapman and Hall, was published as Framley Parsonage ran in the Cornhill, the two works thus available to the public at the same time. Castle Richmond at first sold well on the strength of Dr. Thorne. However, once read and talked about, its sales flagged. (It was not one of Trollope's better efforts.) However, the reading public were talking excitedly of Framley Parsonage, anxiously awaiting each installment while praising Thackeray for having "discovered" Trollope, a great new novelist. Thackeray's procrastination kept him from writing the opening novel for the Cornhill and caused him to ask it of Trollope. Had Smith, Elder accepted Castle Richmond for serialization in the Cornhill, both Trollope and the Cornhill both likely would have suffered great damage to their nascent reputations. Instead, Thackeray's failure, coupled with Smith, Elder's insistence on an English clerical novel, sparked Trollope's true genius, helped the Cornhill to succeed as a publication, and brought Trollope to great fame. Sadleir states that Framley Parsonage is "an important novel with a reputation. This implies a more than purely Trollopian demand for its first edition and in consequence a high price level." Framley Parsonage was a huge success in serialization, and, consequently, a large first edition was published. Perhaps the success of the novel in the triple-decker format explains why so few copies were then left to be published in the 3 volumes in 1 format. Whatever the reason, the 3 volumes in 1 format of the novel is exceeding rare, unknown even to Sadleir who scoured the bookshops looking for Trollopes. A true opportunity for the Trollope collector to distinguish his or her collection.
      [Bookseller: Allington Antiquarian Books, LLC]
Last Found On: 2013-07-16           Check availability:      IOBABooks    

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