ELIOT, George (i.e. Mary Anne Evans, 1819-1880). The Mill on the Floss. Edinburgh and London: W. Blackmore & Sons, 1860. 3 volumes. 8° (200 x 120mm). (Some marginal spotting, neat tear to F3e, vol. II). Contemporary light brown cloth, by Edmonds and Remnants, spines gilt, with calf-backed light brown slip case (front cover of vol. 1 partially detached.) Provenance: purchased from James F. Drake, New York, 20 Octover 1939, $40. Parrish p.14; Sadleir 816a; Wolff 2060.
ELIOT, G. Silas Marner: the Weaver of Ravelot. Edinburgh and London: W. Blackmore and Sons, 1861. 8° (200 x 120mm). Unopened. Bound, by Edmonds and Remnants, London, in contemporary light brown cloth, spines gilt, with later light brown half calf slip box, as work above. Provenance: purchased from James F. Drake, New York, 24 November 1938, $40. Parrish p.15; Sadleir 819; Wolf 2063.
FIRST EDITIONS. Silas Marner with review of Autobiography of Dr. Alexander Carlyle (4 pages) at end. Both works with 16 pages of advertisements at end. The Mill on the Floss with advert leaf for Clerical Life and Adam Bede, demonstrated by Carter to be a later insertion. Eliot began The Mill on the Floss in 1859, soon after the publication, to great applause, of Adam Bede. The work was finished in March 1860 and between its publication in April and the end of May 6000 copies were sold. Silas Marner, written between November 1860 and 10 March 1861, has often been regarded as Eliot's most perfect composition and marked the end of her first literary period.