1852. London: Smith, Elder, & Company, 1852.
3 vols., 8vo, 344; vi, 319; vi, 324 pp. Publisher’s fine ribbed cloth with printed paper labels on backstrip, white endpapers, blanks preceding the half titles of vols. 2 and 3. Boards rubbed, board tips a little bumped, labels rubbed and darkened but legible, hinges tender, final leaf of vol. 1 verso soiled. A uncommonly good, unsophisticated set, rarely seen better and often rebound.
§ First edition. “It is on Henry Esmond that Thackeray's fame as a historical novelist primarily rests. The first, three-volume edition was printed in an antique typeface and with antique spelling. Set during the reign of Queen Anne, the novel focuses attention on the English revolution and on the conflicts over succession caused by William III and Anne having no surviving children... One of the most thought-provoking and unsettling among Victorian novels” (DNB). The book was never issued in parts, unlike Vanity Fair. Copies of the first edition are recorded with and without ads with no priority assigned. There is no sign that ads were ever present in this copy. Tinker 2113. Sadlier 3187 (rebound). Van Duzer 85 (rebound). Woolf 6692. Item #110488