Desperate Remedies

[HARDY, Thomas]

[HARDY, Thomas] Desperate Remedies

Tinsley Brothers, 1871.

First edition. Bound in twentieth century half red morocco, with raised bands and gilt titles to the spine and all edges gilt. Half titles to each volume. A fine copy.

Hardy's very rare first novel, published anonymously in an edition of just 500 copies. With 'A Pair of Blue Eyes' it ranks as the scarcest of all Hardy's works. Having had an initial novel entitled The Poor Man and the Lady rejected and been advised by George Meredith to "attempt a novel with a purely artistic purpose, giving it a more "complicated" plot", Hardy composed Desparate Remedies, a quasi gothic romance with elements of mystery, somewhat in the style of Willkie Collins, but with a character development which gave the work an additional dimension and would foretell Hardy's great, mature works to come.
Contemporary reviews, however, were mostly scathing, The Spectator savagely calling the work "a desperate remedy for an emaciated purse", meaning that it is likely only a modest proportion of the edition was bound and sold. The residue of the sheets being made into a one volume remainder edition (Purdy).

Purdy p3

Stock ID: 44932


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