London: The Folio Society, 1991-1994. Reddick, Peter. Hardcover. Eighteen volumes (a complete Folio Society set, see titles below), octavo size, approximately 6100 pages total. Fine. Item #CNJL2220
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) is one of Britain's most influential Victorian novelists and poets; he often wrote of tragic characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances, and was nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in Literature. The Folio Society has wonderfully reprinted his novels and stories, presented with a variety of noted authors providing introductions, uniformly bound - overall a stunning set.
With wood-engraved illustrations throughout by Peter Reddick (1924-2010), of which the Guardian, in Reddick's obituary, stated: "No other artist has achieved a complete Hardy and, as the illustrators of the first serialisations of the books were various, Reddick's Hardy has become definitive. His research was unstinting: he walked in the regions that inspired Hardy's Wessex and he amassed a detailed knowledge of period implements and costume."
___DESCRIPTION: Each volume bound in differently-coloured full cloth with stamped decoration on front covers of a "corn-dolly" (also designed by Reddick), titles stamped in gilt over a contrasting coloured stamped "label" on the spines, top edges stained to match the binding colour, map endpapers also matched (or contrasted) to the colour of the binding, each with over thirty illustrations throughout by Reddick; Baskerville type, each volume octavo size (9" by 5.75"), the slipcases of course slightly larger, the slipcases covered with plain paper to match (or contrast with) the binding, the single slipcases plain, those containing three volumes with the Folio Society logo in gilt on the sides of the cases. The following nine volumes are presented singly, each in its own slipcase: Far From the Madding Crowd (1991 fifth ptg.), 431 pp., Jude the Obscure (1992 first Folio Society ptg.), 427 pp., The Mayor of Casterbridge (1991 fourth printing), 335 pp., The Return of the Native (1991 fifth ptg.), 413 pp., Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1991 first Folio Society ptg.), 438 pp., The Trumpet-Major (1991 third ptg.), 330 pp., Under the Greenwood Tree (1991 fourth ptg.), 192 pp., Wessex Tales (1991 third ptg.), 214 pp., and The Woodlanders (1992 second ptg.), 363 pp. The following nine volumes are presented as groups of three books in three slipcases: A Laodicean, 421 pp. [with] The Hand of Ethelberta, 409 pp. [and with] Desperate Remedies, 408 pp., these three volumes all 1993 Folio Society first printings; A Pair of Blue Eyes, 387 pp. [with] Two on a Tower, 286 pp. [and with] The Well-Beloved, 253 pp., these three volumes all 1993 second ptgs.; and A Group of Noble Dames, 204 pp. [with] A Changed Man, 342 pp. [and with] Life's Little Ironies, 254 pp., these three volumes all 1994 Folio Society first printings.
___CONDITION: Overall the set is fine, the volumes all with the cloth clean and (with an exception or two) without marks, perfectly straight corners without rubbing, strong, solid text blocks with solid hinges, the interiors clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a couple of the volumes have a shallow, stray marking to the cloth, one has a few spots on the top edge of the text block, another has a shallow indentation to the top edge of the front board; still overall a fine set, many of the volumes still with the "tight" feel of an unread book. The slipcase are mostly fine, strong, sturdy, and without markings; a few have some shallow marks, the three cases which each contain three volumes showing a bit more wear, still strong but with one or two seams just beginning to separate slightly.
___POSTAGE: Please note that due to the size of this set additional postage will apply, please inquire for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.