New York: Harper & Brothers, 1920. Item #02708
The Dickens of Declining Rural Society in Victorian England
A Fine Set Bound by Stikeman of New York
HARDY, Thomas. The Writings of Thomas Hardy in Prose and Verse. With prefaces and notes. New York: Harper & Brothers, .
Anniversary Edition. Limited to 1,250 numbered sets. Twenty-one octavo volumes (8 7/8 x 5 3/4 in; 228 x 145 mm). Frontispieces and plates, with descriptive tissue guards.
Bound by Stikeman & Co. of New York in three-quarter gilt-ruled dark maroon morocco over plum cloth boards. Spines decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others uncut, mauve endpapers. A few headcaps expertly repaired, otherwise a near fine set.
"Harper & Brothers issued the first 21 volumes of the Wessex Edition in America as the 'Autograph Edition' in 1915. This edition, limited to 153 sets with Hardy's signature on an inserted leaf, was in 20 volumes (The Well-Beloved and A Group of Noble Dames being combined in a single volume) and was partly printed from the English plates and partly reset in America (in the case of volumes already copyright there). The 'Map of the Wessex of the Novels and Poems' appears in Vol. 1 only, and the illustrations (4 to a volume) are derived from Lea's Thomas Hardy's Wessex. Hardy inscribed his own set to his wife, June 1915. The edition was reissued in 1920 as the 'Anniversary Edition' (re-calling Hardy's eightieth years), limited to 1,250 sets. A twenty-first volume was included, Satires of Circumstance and Moments of Vision, a makeshift printed from plates of the original editions." (Richard L. Purdy, Thomas Hardy. A Bibliographical Study, p. 286).