“BEYOND QUESTION THE REAL FOUNDER OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL”
FIELDING, Henry. The Complete Works of Henry Fielding. New York: Croscup & Sterling, (1902). Sixteen volumes. Tall octavo, contemporary three-quarter green morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. $2200.
Limited “Edition de Luxe,” number 281 of 1000 sets, with numerous engraved plates, very handsomely bound.
Henry Fielding “is beyond question the real founder of the English novel as a genuine picture of men and women, and in some respects has never been surpassed” (DNB). “To many who speak loosely of the ‘literary life,’ this term is summed up in the solitary conception of the writing and reading of novels. This condition, for good or for evil, we owe to the energy of the positive and active genius of Fielding” (Edmund Gosse). This limited edition of Fielding’s classic novels includes Joseph Andrews (1742), “a great comic creation;” Jonathan Wild (1743), “the most sustained piece of irony in English;” Amelia (1752), “designed to promote the cause of virtue;” and his masterpiece Tom Jones (1749), which, “because of its memorable characters and episodes, the brilliance of its plotting and the generosity of its moral vision… is considered one of the greatest of English novels” (Columbia University Press). Bookplates of W.R. Grace, the first Roman Catholic mayor of New York City and found of W.R. Grace & Company.
Interiors fine. Light expert restoration to joints of Jonathan Wild and to spine head of Joseph Andrews: spines evenly toned to brown. A very handsome set.