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EAST LYNNE (1861 First Edition in Three Volumes)
London: Richard Bentley, 1861. Wood, Ellen, Mrs. Henry. EAST LYNNE. In Three Volumes. London: Richard Bentley, 1861. FIRST EDITION. Each volume has the proper 1861 title page with the verso reading: "Printed by A. Schultze, Poland Street" as, by the second edition, Bentley editions of EAST LYNNE were printed by Spottiswoode of New Street, the Queen's printers. One of only 750 copies published on the 15th of September, 1861. A NEAR FINE set of this great Victorian rarity (light wear to outer hinges and corners). Beautifully bound by Henry T. Wood of London in contemporary blue-green crushed half-morocco with marbled boards, t. e. g., spine with five raised bands, gilt lettering within three of the compartments. Superbly extra-illustrated with three engraved frontispieces (an aesthetic necessary for the binder as the novel was printed without half-titles or fly-leaves). Volume One's frontispiece features the famous portrait of Mrs. Wood by Reginald Easton. Volume Two sports a dramatic frontispiece (possibly from Harrison Ainsworth's New Monthly, the periodical which first published EAST LYNNE in installments). Volume Three's frontispiece, origin as yet unidentified, is engraved by the Dalziel Brothers and illustrates the dénouement of the novel's remarkable plot: a married woman with children abandons her family to run off with a charming aristocrat and, after she is dumped by the cad, the disgraced adulteress disguises herself as a nanny and returns incognito to raise her own children. Further, tipped into Volume One is a two-page autograph letter dated 1877 from the author to a friend regarding the gift of a book and mentioning her middle son Charles (who also served as Mrs. Wood's business partner). EAST LYNNE was the single best-selling novel of the entire 19th century (with a million copies sold before 1901). The first edition is a legendary Victorian rarity, few examples survive. Auction records show only five copies have appeared for public sale during the last 25 years. Sadleir (3333, original cloth), Wolff (7269, rebound). Provenance: Bookplate of John Stuart Groves (whose collection was sold by Anderson Galleries in 1934) in each volume. . First Edition. Near Fine.
      [Bookseller: Lakin & Marley Rare Books ]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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