8vo. 8 parts in 4 volumes, set. First edition, first issue. Contemporary half red morocco, gilt, with marbled paper boards. All edges marbled. Marbled endpapers. All volumes slightly cocked with rubbing to spine ends and pushed corner tips. Small loss to the heads of the spines. Each volume has an ink presentation dated 1876 on the half-title and some faint foxing to the prelims. Volume 1 has a portion missing from the top half of the blank prelim before the half-title. With the two erratum slips for Books II & V bound in at the correct places. Very good +.
Issued in eight monthly parts in wrappers, this set was bound in 1876 for presentation ‘To Mrs Smelt with Mr Swann’s kind regards’. The Proustian surname of the donor seems rather appropriate given the Jewish theme of the author’s last completed novel and was a point being made about Gwendolen’s unhappy marriage with this gift? The first issue has no ‘Contents’ at the start of Book I and the epigraph in Chapter XVII (page 336) is stated to be from Tennyson’s In Memoriam. This was corrected to Locksley Hall in later issues.
Author Eliot, George [Evans, Mary Ann]
Publisher Edinburgh and London, William Blackwood and Sons