New York: Harper & Brothers, [ca. 1884-1887]. Hardcover. Twelvemo size, 564 pp. Good +. Item #12123006
When published in 1880, Ben-Hur superseded "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as the best-selling book in the U.S., and remained such until publication of "Gone With the Wind" over 50 years later. Considered the most influential Christian book of the 19th century it has been made into movies several times; perhaps the most famous is the 1959 adaptation starring Charlton Heston with its famous chariot race. Lew Wallace, a Union general in the Civil War, is not as well remembered today as he should be; Ben-Hur is by far his most significant work, but he wrote several other novels, plays and biographies during his lifetime.
This a fairly early reprint of the work which was originally purblished in 1880, with the following issue points: no date on the title page, the four-line dedication, "To the wife of my youth who still abides with me" (which was instituted in late 1884), with the misprint "be-became" on page 11, lines 37 and 38, the text goes through page 552, and with twelve pages of publisher's ads beginning with "Baker's". It does not have the Table of Contents which was added in February of 1887, so this volume must have been published between late 1884 and early 1887.
___DESCRIPTION: Original brown pebbled cloth with bevelled boards, gilt lettering stamped to the back, pale peach coated endpapers; twelvemo size (7" by 5"), pagination: [1-5] 6-552, -12 (publisher's ads).
___CONDITION: Overall a bit better than good; the text block is strong and square with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and the sole prior owner marking we see is a name written in a large, flowing hand, in pencil, on the flyleaf; the binding has a bit of wear overall including some loss to the head and tail of the spine, a short tear to the cloth binding (approximately three-quarters of an inch) horizontally on the shelfback, the corners gently bumped and with some rubbing.
___CITATION: BAL 20798.
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