Cambridge: Macmillan and Co., 1861. Item #00306
Sequel to the Most Famous of All British School Stories
With an Autograph Note and an Autograph Letter
by the Author
[HUGHES, Thomas]. Tom Brown at Oxford. By the Author of “Tom Brown’s School Days.” In Three Volumes. Cambridge and London: Macmillan and Co., 1861.
First edition. Three small octavo volumes (7 3/8 x 4 15/16 inches; 188 x 125 mm.). xii, 319, [1, blank]; vii, [1, blank], 338, [1, advertisements], [1, blank]; vii, [1, blank], 309, [3, blank] pp. At the end of Volume I is a publisher’s catalogue (23,  pp.) dated “15.10.61.”
Original royal blue morocco-grain cloth with covers ruled in blind and spines ruled in gilt and blind and lettered in gilt. Original cream-colored coated endpapers. Binder’s ticket on rear pastedown of Volume I: “Bound by/Burn/37 & 38/Kirby St.” Minor rubbing to cloth boards and to extremities. Rear hinge of Volumes I and III expertly and almost invisibly repaired. Small hole (measuring approximately 3/8 x 1/4 inch) in the lower inner margin of half-title of Volume I. Leather bookplate of John Stuart Groves on front pastedown of each volume. An excellent copy. Individually chemised and housed together in a quarter dark blue slipcase.
The sequel to the most famous of all British school stories and the novel that firmly established the genre, Tom Brown's Schooldays.
Laid into Volume I is an Autograph Letter Signed by Hughes to a Mr. Moran, dated “9 Old Square, Lin Inn, Jany 28/68.” Written in black ink. One twelvemo page on a folded leaf. “I want copies of Bemis’s pamphlets & any other good papers official or otherwise on that side of the Alabama question which are not printed in our blue books—Can you lend me these for a week or two—Ever yours Tho. Hughes.”
Tipped to the half-title of Volume I is a Signed Note by Thomas Hughes, dated Chester, March 1883 [?], being a transcription of Arthur Hugh Clough’s poem, “Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth” (with variations from the published version): “Say not the struggle nought availeth/The labour & the wounds are vain,/The enemy faints not nor faileth,/And as things have been, things remain./Though hopes were vain, fears may be liars;/Who knows but, by yon smoke concealed,/Our comrades chase e'en now the fliers,/E’en now possess the stricken field—/For tho’ the tired waves, idly breaking,/Seem here no tedious inch to gain,/Far back, through creek & inlet making,/Comes, silent flooding in, the main—/And not thro’ eastern windows only,/When daylight comes comes in the light./In front the sun climbs slow—how slowly!/But eastward, look, the land is bright./A H Clough.”
“British jurist, reformer, and novelist best known for Tom Brown’s School Days (1857). Hughes was educated at Rugby School from 1834 to 1842. His love for the great Rugby headmaster Thomas Arnold and for games and boyish high spirits are admirably captured in Tom Brown’s School Days. The book did much to create an enduring image of the typical public-school boy and to popularize the doctrine of ‘muscular Christianity.’ From 1842 to 1845 Hughes was at Oriel College, Oxford, and Tom Brown at Oxford (1861), a less-successful sequel, gives a picture of live there at the time. Hughes’s admiration for the religious reformer Frederick Denison Maurice led him to join the Christian Socialists and, in 1854, to become a founding member of the Working Men’s College, of which he was principal from 1872 to 1883. His simple, earnest approach to religion and his robust patriotism show plainly in his tracts A Layman’s Faith (1868) and The Manliness of Christ (1879)” (Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia of Literature).
Sadleir 1234. Parrish, pp.120-1. Wolff 3331.