THACKERAY, William Makepeace (1811-1863). The Newcomes. Memoirs of a most respectable family. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1854-1855.
2 volumes, 8° (223 x 140mm). Half-titles. Engraved additional titles and 46 plates, numerous wood-engraved decorations and illustrations, all after Richard Doyle. (Plates spotted, occasional spotting to text, 4mm tears to lower blank margins of B2 and B3 in vol.II.) Original blue/grey diaper-grained cloth, covers blocked in blind, spines in blind with lettering in gilt, uncut, publisher's advertisments printed on endpapers (spines faded, head and foot of spines and corners bumped).
WITH TWO FRAGMENTS OF THE AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF THE NEWCOMES, the first on one page, 8vo, numbered '18', with numerous autograph cancellations and emendations, including a cancelled paragraph of four lines, annotated with name of compositor (?'Lesender'); the second entitled in another hand 'Colonel Newcome proposes a match between Ethel and his son Clive', numerous emendations and cancellations, annotated in another hand with name of compositor ('Hose') on first page, 3 pages, 8vo, numbered 31 - 33, mounted as a triptych on a folding thin card mount, in a green cloth folder;
all within a single green morocco solander box by Riviere & Son. Provenance: purchased from William Robinson, London, 15 December 1931, £100.
FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM WITH FRAGMENTS OF THACKERAY'S ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT. The first fragment corresponds to part of Vol.II Ch.11 (pp.109-10 in this edition), and comprises part of Major Pendennis's description of a dinner party, and Pen's discovery of his wife's antipathy to Lady Clara and Ethel Newcome -- 'All women you know Arthur, are jealous of such beauties'; the second corresponds to part of Vol.II Ch.13 (pp.124-7), describing the meeting at which Colonel Newcombe puts forward his proposal that his son Clive should marry Ethel, Sir Barnes Newcombe's sister. Each fragment has minor variants from the published text, and the first resolves a textual crux, indicating that the first phrase of the nonsensical sentence on p.109 'trust me my boy he is ... Upon my word, my dear, it seemed to me' results from an incomplete cancellation by Thackeray of a first draft.
The considerable portion of the manuscript of The Newcomes preserved in the Museum at Charterhouse School, is 'partly in Thackeray's handwriting, partly in that of his eldest daughter [Anne Thackeray Ritchie], and partly that of Mr Eyre Crowe' (Van Duzer, A Thackeray Library  p.85); but pages of the manuscript have been widely dispersed, perhaps originally by Anne Thackeray Ritchie. (4)