“ONE OF TROLLOPE’S BEST BUT LEAST-KNOWN NOVELS”: FIRST EDITION IN BOOK FORM OF HE KNEW HE WAS RIGHT, 1869
TROLLOPE, Anthony. He Knew He Was Right. London: Strahan, 1869. Two volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter polished dark brown calf, red morocco spine labels, marbled boards and and endpapers. $1500.
First edition in book form of Trollope’s widely praised novel of obsession and madness, with 64 wood-engraved illustrations (32 full page).
Nathaniel Hawthorne captured the essence of Anthony Trollope’s considerable appeal in noting that his novels “precisely suit my taste; solid, substantial… as if some giant had hewn a great lump out of the earth and put it under a glass case, with all its inhabitants going about their daily business, and not suspecting that they were made a show of.” Trollope is said to have been inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello in He Knew He Was Right. “One of Trollope’s best but least-known novels… it achieves what Henry James, who admired the book, has called ‘an impressive completeness of misery” (Hennessey, 291). The novel’s focus on the obsessions of his protagonist produces “a narrative that is at once a ‘sane’ realistic novel and a ‘mad’ Shakespearean tragedy” (Oberhalman, Studies in English Literature). Written from November 1867-June 1868, and serialized in 32 weekly numbers from October 17, 1868-May 22, 1869. With 64 wood-engraved illustrations after Marcus Stone (32 full page). Sadleir 31. Owner bookplates.
Text and plates fine, only slight wear to boards. An extremely good copy of this major 19th-century novel.