THOMAS HARDY FIRST EDITIONS – ASH RARE BOOKS
THOMAS HARDY FIRST EDITIONS AT
THOMAS HARDY FIRST EDITIONS
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : TWO ON A TOWER. A ROMANCE.
London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882. First edition : one of 1,000 copies of the first issue text, before the corrections made for the virtually identical second impression. One of Hardy’s most original, interesting and controversial novels – a Wessex tale of star-crossed lovers in which he aimed “to make science, not the mere padding of a romance, but the actual vehicle of romance” – “We have known military novels, sporting and dramatic novels, law and police novels, but an astronomical novel never ... The author, in fact, has imagined and described a woman with whom few of his male readers will not fall in love” (contemporary review in The Athenaeum).
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : THE WOODLANDERS.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1887. First edition : one of just 860 copies in the primary binding. The story of Grace Melbury, the faithful Giles Winterborne, and the faithless Edred Fitzpiers. Controversial for its time, but “his loveliest if not his finest book” (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch) and “the most beautiful and most noble of Hardy’s novels” (William Lyon Phelps) – and indeed Hardy’s own favourite – “On taking up ‘The Woodlanders’ and reading it after many years, I like it as a story best of all”.
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : WESSEX TALES : STRANGE, LIVELY, AND COMMONPLACE.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1888. First edition. Five stories from Hardy, “Fellow-Townsmen” – placed among the finest and most memorable of all his output; “The Withered Arm” and “The Three Strangers” – two outstanding horror stories; the much-admired “Interlopers at the Knap”, and “The Distracted Preacher” – a surprisingly comic cameo. Just 750 copies were printed, and only 634 of those issued in the original two volumes.
HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 & OTHERS : THREE NOTABLE STORIES : LOVE AND PERIL : TO BE, OR NOT TO BE : THE MELANCHOLY HUSSAR.
London : Spencer Blackett, 1890. First edition. Three novellas making their first appearance in book form – the first from John Campbell, Marquis of Lorne, later Duke of Argyll (1845-1914); the second from Annie Hector Alexander (1825-1902), and the third – “The Melancholy Hussar” – from Thomas Hardy. The Hardy story originally appeared in “The Bristol Times and Mirror” earlier in 1890.
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : JUDE THE OBSCURE.
London : Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., (1896) [i.e. 1895]. First edition : with six of the first eight gatherings in first state, with page numbers on all the partially blank pages. His last, most bleak, and most controversial novel. With an etched frontispiece of “Christminster” by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn (1860-1947) and Hardy’s map of Wessex at rear.
HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.
London & New York : Harper & Brothers, (1902). First edition : [one of 500 copies]. A collection of ninety-nine poems – his most extensive collection up to that time – many of them war poems, dating from the time of the Boer War, but others from other places and other times. Includes “The Souls of the Slain”, “The Mother Mourns”, “By the Earth’s Corpse”, “Between Us Now”, “The Darkling Thrush”, “I Have Lived with Shades”, and others.
HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : HUMAN SHOWS FAR PHANTASIES : SONGS, AND TRIFLES.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1925. First edition. The last collection published in Hardy’s lifetime – 152 poems, most previously unpublished and mainly recently composed, although with a handful from earlier in his career.
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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : WINTER WORDS : IN VARIOUS MOODS AND METRES.
London : Macmillan & Co., 1928. First edition. Hardy’s final collection of poetry – 105 poems – the majority previously unpublished. Includes “The Lodging-House Fuchsias”, “To a Tree in London”, “Henley Regatta”, “That Kiss in the Dark”, and “We are Getting to the End”. Although prepared for the press before his death in January 1928, Hardy did not live to see its publication.
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MASTERS, James (James Edwin), 1876-1943 : SHAFTESBURY : THE ‘SHASTON’ OF THOMAS HARDY.
Shaftesbury : Book in Hand, 1983. Second edition. A delightful portrait of the town, first published by the High House Press in 1932. Wood-engravings by James Masters and John R. Biggs (one of which did not appear in the original edition). With a memoir of James and Beatrice Masters and their High House Press by Biggs, and a checklist of High House titles 1924-1939.
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