Scenes of Clerical Life

ELIOT, George


ELIOT, George Scenes of Clerical Life

Blackwood, 1858.

First edition. Two volumes, bound in original publisher's maroon-brown cloth, titled in gilt to the spine and decorated in blind. A little wear to the cloth at the head of volume I, but an exceptionally clean bright set with tight hinges and bright gilt to the spines. Housed in a custom made full morocco clamshell case.

The author's first book, collecting her first works of fiction. At 38 George Eliot was a latecomer to the world of fiction and was particularly self-conscious about publishing creative and original writing. It took considerable encouragement from her partner, G. H. Lewes, to get her stories written and published. It was he who arranged for John Blackwood to publish her first tentative efforts at literary work, Scenes of Clerical Life, claiming it to be the work of a 'friend' called George Eliot. The three stories first appeared in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine throughout 1857 and were published in book form in January 1858. The popularity of the book caused much speculation as to the author's identity. The work prompted no less a literary figure than Charles Dickens to write to Blackwood regarding the book,
"Will you, by such roundabout ways and methods as may present themselves, convey this note of thanks to the author of Scenes of Clerical Life: whose two first stories I can never get enough of. I think them so truly admirable. But if those two volumes, or a part of them, were not written by a woman - then I should begin to believe that I am a woman myself."
The author's rarest book and very rare in the original cloth, particularly in such nice condition.

Sadleir 818

Stock ID: 24186


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