London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848. Item #05101
First Edition of Vanity Fair
In a Fine Sangorski & Sutcliffe Cosway-Style Binding
[COSWAY-STYLE BINDING]. [SANGORSKI & SUTCLIFFE]. THACKERAY, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. A Novel Without A Hero. With Illustrations On Steel and Wood By the Author. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.
First edition, first issue, with the suppressed woodcut of the Marquis of Steyne on page 336, with "Mr. Pitt" for "Sir Pitt" on page 453, and the rustic heading on page one. Expert paper repair to pages [xv] and xvi. Plates generally a little toned, still a near fine and very desirable copy of this classic.
Octavo (8 5/16 x 5 1/8 inches; 210 x 130 mm.). xvi, 624 pp. Thirty-eight black and white steel engraved plates with tissue guards and one hundred and fifty woodcuts in the text by Thackeray. Extra-illustrated by Joseph Clayton Clarke with twelve original pen and ink drawings including a pen & ink and pastel frontispiece, with tissue guard.
Bound c. 1920 by [Sangorski & Sutcliffe] stamped signed "Bound for Harry F. Marks. London"on lower turn-in. Full crimson crushed levant morocco over beveled boards, covers elaborately bordered in gilt, decorative gilt corner-pieces, each with a gilt triple flower design inlaid with green morocco petals. Spine with five raised bands, elaborately tooled in a similar floral design with four large flowers with tan morocco inlays, lettered in gilt in compartments. Inside front cover with large rectangular dark blue morocco inlaid panel, decorative gilt corner-pieces surroundin an oval gilt frame with a very fine hand-painted portrait miniature set under glass of the young Thackeray - possibly by Miss C.B. Currie. Double gilt-ruled board edges, highly decorative gilt turn-ins, blue watered silk endleaves, all edges gilt. Minimal rubbing to joints otherwise near fine. Housed in a felt-lined red cloth clamshell case, spine with leather label, lettered in gilt.
Harry F. Marks, was a renowned early twentieth century New York City bookman and the Black Sun Press' distributor in America. Marks had many books specially bound for his clientele by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.
Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863), which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published as a 19-part monthly serial from 1847 to 1848, carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society, reflecting both its satirization of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in 1848 with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero, reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. It is sometimes considered the "principal founder" of the Victorian domestic novel. The story is framed as a puppet play, and the narrator, despite being an authorial voice, is somewhat unreliable. The book's title comes from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, a Dissenter allegory first published in 1678. In that work, "Vanity Fair" refers to a stop along the pilgrim's route: a never-ending fair held in a town called Vanity, which is meant to represent man's sinful attachment to worldly things. Thackeray does not mention Bunyan in the novel or in his surviving letters about it, where he describes himself dealing with "living without God in the world", but he did expect the reference to be understood by his audience, as shown in an 1851 Times article likely written by Thackeray himself. The serial parts were a popular and critical success; the novel is now considered a classic and has inspired several audio, film, and television adaptations.
Grolier, 100 English, 87. Van Duzer 231. Wolff 6699.