BROWNING, Robert (1812-1889). Balaustion's Adventure: including A Transcript from Euripides. London: Smith, Elder and Co., 1871. 8° (164 x 104mm). (Lacking final leaf 22/2.) FIRST EDITION. Broughton, Northup and Pearsall A91 (noting that the edition was 2,500 copies); Wise Robert Browning I, 13.
R. BROWNING. Aristophanes' Apology including A Transcript from Euripides being the Last Adventure of Balaustion. London: Spottiswoode and Co. for Smith, Elder, & Co., 1875. 8° (164 x 104mm). Half-title. (Occasional minor marking, lacking preliminary blank [A]1 and final advertisement leaf 2A8.) FIRST EDITION. Broughton, Northup and Pearsall A100; Wise Robert Browning I, 17.
Uniformly bound in contemporary tree calf, boards with roll-tooled gilt borders, spines gilt in compartments and with gilt morocco lettering-pieces, marbled edges (extremities a little rubbed and chipped, neatly rebacked retaining original spines), 20th-century cloth box. Provenance: George Lillie Craik (1837-1905) and Dinah Maria Craik (1826-1887, bookplates of G.L. Craik; presentation inscriptions on flyleaves of both volumes respectively: 'Robert Browning, who had much enjoyment in writing this poem, finds there was still a pleasure in store for him--that of acknowledging the kindness of his friends. Nov. 30. '75.' and 'Robert Browning will not forget that this book is in the keeping of his friends. Nov. 30. '75.').
PRESENTATION COPIES, INSCRIBED BY BROWNING TO THE AUTHOR OF JOHN HALIFAX, GENTLEMAN AND HER HUSBAND. Established as a successful novelist by the publication of The Ogilvies in 1849, Dinah Maria Mulock was a friend and correspondent of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning; indeed, Mulock dedicated her novel The Head of the Family (London: 1852) to Elizabeth. Mulock married George Craik, a partner in Macmillan and Co., in 1864, and the present volumes appear to be part of a group of works by Browning inscribed to the Craiks on 30 November 1875; a copy of Browning's Pauline (London: 1833) similarly bound and inscribed at the same date was in the library of H. Bradley Martin (sale, Sotheby's New York, 30 April-1 May 1990, lot 2673). (2)