FIRST EDITION OF THACKERAY’S THE NEWCOMES
THACKERAY, William Makepeace. The Newcomes, Memoirs of a Most Respectable Family. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1853-55. Two volumes. Octavo, late 19th-century three-quarter red morocco gilt, raised bands, top edges gilt, uncut. $1100.
First edition, bound from parts and with 10 of 23 original paper wrappers bound in, with vignette title pages, 46 full-page plates and over 100 historiated initial capitals and in-text illustrations by Richard Doyle, handsomely bound.
Considered by many to be Thackeray’s finest novel, The Newcomes tells the tale of Colonel Thomas Newcome and his son Clive, who studies to be a painter. The majority of the novel’s action is set a decade or two after that of Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (1847-48), and there are peripheral references to some of the characters in Vanity Fair in The Newcomes. First issued in 24 parts from October 1853 to August 1855, illustrated by Richard Doyle. Both the engraved and letterpress title pages list Arthur Pendennis, Esq., as the editor; Pendennis is, in fact, the narrator of the novel, and the title character of Thackeray’s 1848-50 novel The History of Pendennis. Front wrapper of part 13 bound in at front of Volume I; front wrapper of part 14 bound in at front of Volume II. Bound at rear of Volume II: front and rear wrappers for parts 15-24, bound with a variety of parts advertisements. Parts 23 and 24 were issued under one wrapper. Van Duser 147.
Occasional scattered light foxing and finger soiling to interior; light rubbing to calf extremities. A near-fine copy.