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MAYOR OF CASTERBRIDGE. The Life and Death of a Man of Character
London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1886. 2 volumes. First edition. 8vo, in the scarce original blue cloth, the upper covers decorated and lettered in black, the spines in gilt and black, floral endpapers. Housed in a fine gilt decorated morocco backed slipcase with separate chemises. 313, [2 ads]; 312, [4 ads] pp. A handsome set in the original cloth, the bindings with light rubbing or mellowing, a very small bit of occasional spotting to the text, much better then cloth copies are typically found. FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL CLOTH OF ARGUABLY HARDY'S GREATEST NOVEL. Only 759 copies of the first edition were printed, making it also one of his scarcest. The novel's protagonist, Michael Henchard, is the "Man of Character" to whom the subtitle alludes. When the novel opens, Henchard is a disconsolate twenty-one-year-old hay-trusser who, in a drunken rage, sells his wife and daughter at a county fair. Eighteen years later, Henchard has risen to become the mayor and the most accomplished corn merchant in the town of Casterbridge. Although he tries to atone for his youthful crimes, he focuses too much on his past misdeeds and enters a downward trajectory that embroils him in a fierce competition with a popular Scotchman named Donald Farfrae.
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-02-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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