6 December 2013
FIELDING, Henry (1707-1754). The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. London: Printed for A. Millar, 1749.
6 volumes, 12o (166 x 99 mm). With the errata leaf in vol. I; leaves B9-10 (vol. I); B4-5 (vol. II); H8-10, M3 and Q11 (vol. III); N8 (Vol. V) are cancels, blank leaves in volumes one and 3. (A few leaves with minor marginal worming, a few leaves with short marginal tears.) Contemporary sprinkled calf gilt, spines in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands gilt, red morocco gilt lettering-piece in one; quarter morocco folding cases.
FIRST EDITION of Fielding's masterpiece. The novel was rushed to publication, and thus the first edition contains a large number of errors due both to misreading by the compositors and to author error. Immediate revision was necessary after the publication of the first edition, and subsequent editions omit the errata leaf, and most of the errors are addressed in the second edition of the same year. Frederick S. Dickson, an early bibliographer, speculates that preparation for the second edition was begun at about the same time the sixth volume of the first edition went to press, in February 1749. Cross II, p. 120-121; Grolier English 48; Rothschild 850. (6)
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