“BEYOND QUESTION THE REAL FOUNDER OF THE ENGLISH NOVEL”
FIELDING, Henry. The Works of Henry Fielding. Westminster and New York: Archibald Constable; Charles Scribner's Sons (Chiswick Press), 1898-99. Twelve volumes. Tall octavo, contemporary half burgundy morocco gilt, uncut and partially unopened. $1400.
Limited edition, one of only 750 sets, of Fielding’s works, handsomely bound, with nearly all frontispieces by George Cruikshank.
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). With an Introduction by Edmund Gosse. Bookplate.
Only light foxing to first and last few leaves, mild rubbing to extremities of contemporary morocco. A handsome set in near-fine condition.