[BRONTË, Charlotte (1816-1855)]. 'Currer BELL'. Villette. London: Stewart and Murray for Smith, Elder & Co., 1853.
3 volumes, 8° (196 x 123mm). 10-page publisher's catalogue dated 'January 1853' bound in at the end of volume I. (Occasional light spotting or ink-/finger-marking, a few leaves with short marginal tears, sometimes causing minor loss, volume I lacking final leaf of publisher's catalogue.) Original grey/olive cloth by Westleys & Co with their ticket on the lower pastedown of volume I, covers blocked in blind with triple rule border enclosing an inner border incorporating floral cornerpieces, spines decorated in blind and lettered in gilt, pale yellow endpapers (extremities lightly rubbed and with short tears at spine ends, minor inkspotting, spines leant, some cracking on hinges, corner torn from front free endpaper of volume I). Provenance: early pencilled correction on II, p.125 -- B. Williams Ball (engraved bookplate on upper pastedown of all volumes) -- Sir Frederick Wellington John Fitzwygram Bart, Leigh Park, Havant (1823-1904, inkstamps on titles of volumes I and II and front free endpaper of volume III, and III/Z8v, the latter partially erased).
FIRST EDITION, WITH THE CATALOGUE IN THE EARLIEST STATE. Villette was published on 28 January 1853, and the earlier sets have 12-page publisher's catalogues bearing that date; Smith records sets containing catalogues dated February 1853, March 1854 and December 1854. Sir Frederick Fitzwygram Bart (whose stamp this copy bears) pursued a military career, which culminated in the position of Inspector-General of Cavalry from 1879 until 1884. In 1885 he was elected Member of Parliament for South Hampshire and also President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, both of which posts he held until 1900. Fitzwygram also published books on various subjects, including Hints for the Improvement of Village Schools (London, 1859), Notes on Shoeing Horses (London, 1861), Horses and Stables (London, 1869), and Parochial Life Incumbencies (London, 1897). Parrish Victorian Lady Novelists p.95 (catalogue dated January 1853); Sadleir 349 (catalogue dated January 1853); Smith 6; Wise Brontës I, 7; Wolff 828 (catalogue dated March 1854). (3)