Hardy's first great Wessex novel

Far from the Madding Crowd.

London: Smith, Elder & Co, 1874.

Price: $10,000.00

About the item

First edition, one of 1000 copies. [iv], 333; [iv], 342 pp. With 12 plate illustrations by Helen Paterson; frontispieces with tissue paper in each volume. Printeed by William Moore & Co. 2 vols. 8vo. Hardy's first great Wessex novel. Bound in forest green half morocco backed marble boards with gilt ruling, gilt titles on five-banded spine, and t.e.g. Marble endpapers with handsome bookplate of heiress Gustavia Senff on upper pastedowns, and a collected list of all Hardy volumes in neat manuscript tipped in before titles in volume one. Some light foxing near front and rear of books, slight bumps to upper corners on each, but otherwise a very attractive near fine set. Purdy pp. 13-20; Sadleir 1105; Webb, pages 8-9; Wolff 2975.

Item #365030

First issued serially in the Cornhill Magazine from January to December 1874, published in book form it comprised Hardy's first major novel and his first success. "[I]t established precisely the kind of richly specific rural and agricultural setting that was to characterize his most widely admired work. It also introduced, as integral to that setting, the fictional region of Wessex, closely based on the topography of Dorset and the adjacent counties, that became increasingly the central organizing feature of his fiction" (ODNB).