11 - 13 July 2000
HARDY, Thomas (1840-1928). The Return of the Native. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1878.
3 volumes, 8° (184 x 120mm). Half-titles. Lithographic frontispiece 'Sketch Map of the Scene of the Story by Stanfords after Hardy. (Occasional light spotting, very light marginal browning, a few leaves with skilfully repaired clean marginal tears.) Early 20th-century crimson crushed morocco gilt by Sangorski & Sutcliffe, the covers with triple gilt fillet borders, gilt board edges and roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, the spines gilt in 6 compartments divided by raised bands, titled in gilt in 2 and dated at the foot, the other compartments gilt with central quatrefoil tool surrounded by foliate and floral tools within double fillet frames, top edges gilt (very light rubbing on the board edges, offestting from turn-ins onto free endpapers). Provenance: Clement King Shorter (1857-1926, presentation inscription on half-title of volume I dated July 1903 and bookplate on flyleaf of volume I); sale, Sotheby's, commencing 2 April 1928 (lot 199, to); Bernard Quaritch.
FIRST EDITION. A FINELY-BOUND, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED 'TO CLEMENT SHORTER. YOURS SINCERELY THOMAS HARDY. JULY 2 - 1903.' Hardy gave the original manuscript of The Return of the Native 'to Clement Shorter in 1908 in return for his having had a number of Hardy's MSS. bound' (Purdy p.27). Following Shorter's death in 1926, this manuscript 'was bequeathed to the ''Royal University of Dublin'' and is now in the Library of University College Dublin' (loc. cit.). In addition to this manuscript, Purdy records 2 books inscribed to Shorter by Hardy: The Well-Beloved and Selected Poems (pp.96 and 187 respectively). Books inscribed by Hardy are rare. Purdy pp.24-27; Sadleir 1113. (3)
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