W. M. THACKERAY FIRST EDITIONS AT ASH RARE BOOKS

First editions at Ash Rare Books

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FIRST EDITIONS OF WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY

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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.

THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.

London : Bradbury & Evans, 1848. First edition : the traditional first issue, with the “rustic” heading to the first chapter and the notorious “Marquis of Steyne” wood-engraving (p.336). This illustration is said to have been suppressed, under threat of court action, for its allegedly libellous resemblance to Francis Seymour-Conway, Third Marquis of Hertford. This has been disputed, but the portrait certainly only appears in the very earliest copies of the book – and disappeared very early in the book’s life cycle.
Demy 8vo (206 x 126mm). xvi,624pp. Frontispiece, extra pictorial title, etched plates and highly entertaining text illustrations by Thackeray himself. Bound, without half-title, in a very handsome mid twentieth-century full crimson crushed morocco, banded and extra gilt, by Bayntun-Riviere; all edges gilt; inner gilt dentelles; marbled endpapers; just a hint of sunning; a few slight internal marks; some spotting to plates, but overall a very good copy indeed of Thackeray’s masterpiece.

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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.

THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : VANITY FAIR : A NOVEL WITHOUT A HERO.

London : Humphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, [ca. 1930]. An attractively bound standard library edition in the Oxford Thackeray series first published in 1908. The text is that of the revised edition of 1864, but all of the original illustrations from the original parts published 1847-1848 are retained. Edited and introduced by George Saintsbury (1845-1933).
Crown 8vo (183 x 114mm). xxii,[2],(886)pp. Portrait frontispiece. Numerous illustrations, many full page, by Thackeray himself. Bound in a pleasant contemporary diced calf, banded and gilt; top edge gilt; marbled endpapers; lightly sunned and slightly scuffed, but a very good, clean and sound copy. With the prize label of Harrow School in the tenure of Sir Cyril Norwood as headmaster, 1926-1934.

£75

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[THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863] – “PENDENNIS, Arthur – editor” : THE NEWCOMES. MEMOIRS OF A MOST RESPECTABLE FAMILY.

[THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863] – “PENDENNIS, Arthur – editor” : THE NEWCOMES. MEMOIRS OF A MOST RESPECTABLE FAMILY.

London : Bradbury & Evans, 1855. First edition. Set in the decades following on from “Vanity Fair” (and reintroducing some of the characters in peripheral roles), Thackeray gives his most complete exploration of character, wealth, marriage and religion. “One of the few immortal novels ... As a novel of English upper and middle class life, it remains without a rival” (Helen Rex Keller).
Two volumes. Demy 8vo (216 x 134mm). viii,380; viii,(376)pp. Frontispieces, extra pictorial titles, forty-four plates and numerous wood-engravings in the text by the celebrated Richard Doyle (1824-1883). Bound (without half-titles) in a handsome near contemporary half crimson roan, banded and gilt, by James Maclehose (1811-1885) of Glasgow; marbled sides, edges and endleaves; a hint of rubbing and bruising; a few tiny scuffs; a handful of spots, but overall a very good, clean, bright and sound set. With the attractive gold-printed pictorial bookplate of A. P. Urquhart in each volume, and the small book label of the distinguished Newcastle bookseller Robert D. Steedman in the first.

£400

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THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : THE FATAL BOOTS, AND COX’S DIARY.

THACKERAY, W.M. (William Makepeace), 1811-1863 : THE FATAL BOOTS, AND COX’S DIARY.

London : Bradbury & Evans, 1860. Two early and amusing Thackeray pieces originally written for the “Comic Almanacks” of 1839 and 1840 and first published in this format in 1855.
Crown 8vo (20cm). 100pp. Original yellow decorative wrappers; a little worn, marked, chipped and creased, but a reasonable copy of a fragile production. Housed in a custom-made cloth box.

£20

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