George ELIOT

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ELIOT, George. Middlemarch. Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1871-72. Four volumes. Small octavo, contemporary three-quarter dark brown morocco.

First edition of "one of the great peaks of the 19th-century English novel," desirable in contemporary bindings.

Henry James championed Eliot's Middlemarch as early as 1874, deeming it the final evolution of the "old-fashioned English novel." Virginia Woolf hailed it as "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people," and later critics have pointed to Eliot's profoundly original imaginative power as the beginning of a new path in literature, "the mode of moral prophecy… strenuously developed by D. H. Lawrence" (Bloom, The Western Canon, 319-30). "One of the great peaks of the 19th-century English novel: the daunting prospect of its ascent… should never deter a reader who takes pleasure in masterful characterization, moral insights and a sense of place" (An English Library, 20). First issue, with uncorrected "viros nulli" Book III, Volume II, page 103, line 17. With half titles in each volume; without scarce errata slip. Bound without advertisements. Baker & Ross A10.1.a. Sadleir 815. See Wolff 2059. Contemporary owner signatures dated 1871, 1872 (Vol. I title page; Vol. II half title). Early owner bookplates.

Interior fresh with light scattered foxing, light expert repairs to bindings. An attractive copy.

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