THOMAS HARDY FIRST EDITIONS – ASH RARE BOOKS

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THOMAS HARDY FIRST EDITIONS

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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : TWO ON A TOWER. A ROMANCE.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : TWO ON A TOWER. A ROMANCE.

London : Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882. First edition : one of 1,000 copies of the first issue text, before the corrections made for the virtually identical second impression. One of Hardy’s most original, interesting and controversial novels – a Wessex tale of star-crossed lovers in which he aimed “to make science, not the mere padding of a romance, but the actual vehicle of romance”.
Three volumes. Crown 8vo (185 x 122mm). [iv],246,[ii]; [iv],240; [iv],(224)pp. Bound, complete with half-titles, in a very attractive later (early twentieth-century) full tan morocco, banded and extra gilt, by Birdsall; original cloth preserved at rear; top edges gilt; marbled endpapers; a couple of faint scuffs; a few internal faint creases and small flaws; endpapers lightly tanned, but a very handsome set. Purdy pp.41-47. Sadleir 1116. Wolff 2996.

£1,500

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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : THE WOODLANDERS.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : THE WOODLANDERS.

London : Macmillan & Co., 1887. First edition : one of just 860 copies in the primary binding. The story of Grace Melbury, the faithful Giles Winterborne, and the faithless Edred Fitzpiers. Controversial for its time, but “his loveliest if not his finest book” (Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch) and “the most beautiful and most noble of Hardy’s novels” (William Lyon Phelps) – and indeed Hardy’s own favourite – “On taking up ‘The Woodlanders’ and reading it after many years, I like it as a story best of all”.
Three volumes. Crown 8vo (20cm). [iv],302,[ii]; [iv],328; [iv],316pp. Original holly-green cloth, ruled in black and lettered in gilt; a touch dulled; lightly worn at extremities; endpapers strained at hinges (two with neat repair); vol. i. recased and tightened; vols ii and iii a little shaken and slack; a handful of minor flaws, but a good set. Purdy pp.54-57.

£1,500

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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 & OTHERS : THREE NOTABLE STORIES : LOVE AND PERIL : TO BE, OR NOT TO BE : THE MELANCHOLY HUSSAR.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 & OTHERS : THREE NOTABLE STORIES : LOVE AND PERIL : TO BE, OR NOT TO BE : THE MELANCHOLY HUSSAR.

London : Spencer Blackett, 1890. First edition. Three novellas making their first appearance in book form – the first from John Campbell, Marquis of Lorne, later Duke of Argyll (1845-1914); the second from Annie Hector Alexander (1825-1902), and the third – “The Melancholy Hussar” – from Thomas Hardy. The Hardy story originally appeared in “The Bristol Times and Mirror” earlier in 1890.
Crown 8vo (20cm). [viii],(212),[iv]pp. Original pale blue cloth, ruled and lettered across upper cover and spine in black; covers lightly rubbed and very slightly marked; mild bubbling of cloth on upper cover; endpapers a little cracked; a little shaken and slack, but overall still a very good copy of an uncommon Hardy item. Contemporary (1896) ownership inscription of F. W. Wilkinson, and small late twentieth-century bookseller’s label of the Hardy specialist, H. V. Day of Dorchester.

£100

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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : JUDE THE OBSCURE.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : JUDE THE OBSCURE.

London : Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., (1896) [i.e. 1895]. First edition : with six of the first eight gatherings in first state, with page numbers on all the partially blank pages. His last, most bleak, and most controversial novel. With an etched frontispiece of “Christminster” by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn (1860-1947) and Hardy’s map of Wessex at rear.
Post 8vo (21cm). (viii),(520)pp. Original holly green cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt; top edge gilt; just slightly rubbed at extremities and faintly bruised; a few scattered spots to edges and endleaves; slight crack to rear endpaper, but still a very good copy.

SOLD

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : POEMS OF THE PAST AND THE PRESENT.

London & New York : Harper & Brothers, (1902). First edition : [one of 500 copies]. A collection of ninety-nine poems – his most extensive collection up to that time – many of them war poems, dating from the time of the Boer War, but others from other places and other times. Includes “The Souls of the Slain”, “The Mother Mourns”, “By the Earth’s Corpse”, “Between Us Now”, “The Darkling Thrush”, “I Have Lived with Shades”, and others.
Post 8vo (21cm). (xii),260,[ii],[2]pp. Original decorative cloth gilt; top edge gilt; just a touch rubbed; endpapers a little spotted, but a very good and bright copy. Pictorial “Faskally” bookplate of Peter and Margery Morris.

SOLD

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : HUMAN SHOWS FAR PHANTASIES : SONGS, AND TRIFLES.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : HUMAN SHOWS FAR PHANTASIES : SONGS, AND TRIFLES.

London : Macmillan & Co., 1925. First edition. The last collection published in Hardy’s lifetime – 152 poems, most previously unpublished and mainly recently composed, although with a handful from earlier in his career.
Crown 8vo (20cm). [2],x,(280),(4)pp. Original green cloth gilt; some spotting of endpapers, but a very good, bright and largely unopened copy in the dust-jacket – just slightly tanned and with a small mark on upper panel, but also very good. Purdy pp.234-248.

£200

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HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : WINTER WORDS : IN VARIOUS MOODS AND METRES.

HARDY, Thomas, 1840-1928 : WINTER WORDS : IN VARIOUS MOODS AND METRES.

London : Macmillan & Co., 1928. First edition. Hardy’s final collection of poetry – 105 poems – the majority previously unpublished. Includes “The Lodging-House Fuchsias”, “To a Tree in London”, “Henley Regatta”, “That Kiss in the Dark”, and “We are Getting to the End”. Although prepared for the press before his death in January 1928, Hardy did not live to see its publication.
Crown 8vo (21cm). (xii),202,[ii]pp. Original green cloth, blocked and lettered in gilt; a few edge-spots, endpapers lightly tanned, but a very good, clean, sound and largely unopened copy in a dust-jacket with just a couple of slight marks, but also very good indeed.

£250

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MASTERS, James (James Edwin), 1876-1943 : SHAFTESBURY : THE ‘SHASTON’ OF THOMAS HARDY.

MASTERS, James (James Edwin), 1876-1943 : SHAFTESBURY : THE ‘SHASTON’ OF THOMAS HARDY.

Shaftesbury : Book in Hand, 1983. Second edition. A delightful portrait of the town, first published by the High House Press in 1932. Wood-engravings by James Masters and John R. Biggs (one of which did not appear in the original edition). With a memoir of James and Beatrice Masters and their High House Press by Biggs, and a checklist of High House titles 1924-1939.
Demy 8vo (23cm). [48]pp. Original boards, blocked and lettered in gilt; a very good copy in a just slightly nicked dust-jacket.

£20

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