Tess of the d'urbervilles

HARDY, Thomas

SIGNED BY HARDY

HARDY, Thomas Tess of the d'urbervilles

Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., 1891.

First edition. Three volumes. 8vo. Original publisher's honeysuckle cloth, with gilt designs by Charles Ricketts. Signed by the author on the half title of volume I. A mixed set with volume one a first issue and vols II and III are the second issue with 1892 on the title pages. A near very good set, with some wear to the spine ends and corners and with dulling to the gilt on the spine and general dustiness. Hinges to vol I and III tender but sound.

A rare signed first edition of what is generally regarded as Hardy's masterpiece. The scarcity of inscribed copies of Tess, might be explained by Hardy's later diary entry, "The reviews have made me shy of presenting copies of Tess," and the letter he wrote wrote to his good friend Edmund Gosse in 1892 stating, "As the story was rather a venture into sincerity, I decided not to present you, and some other friends, with a copy, to leave you quite independent. But I shall send the one vol. edn when it is published."
Purdy notes but three presentation copies and transactional history bears this out: only four signed or inscribed first editions have sold at auction in the last 75 years and no copy has been seen in the last 30 years.

Stock ID: 44934

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