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TWO ON A TOWER. A Romance

by Hardy Thomas

Condition: See description


London: Sampson, Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1882. 3 volumes. Scarce first edition. 8vo, bound by Zaehnsdorf in near contemporary three-quarter blue morocco over blue marbled boards, the spines are gilt lettered in two compartments and have wide gilt decorated raised bands, t.e.g., the original blue cloth to the upper cover and spine of Volume I has been retained and bound in. Now housed in a fine morocco backed foldover protective case. 246; 240; 223 pp. A very pleasing and handsome set, quite fine internally with just a bit of normal age mellowing to the text, the original half-titles retained, the antique bindings with some light evidence of age or use at the joints and extremities. first Edition, one of Hardy's Wessex novels, set in a parallel version of late Victorian Dorset. It is a tale of star-crossed love in which the unhappily married Lady Constantine breaks all the rules of social decorum when she falls in love with Swithin St. Cleeve, an astronomer who is ten years her junior. Her husband's death leaves the lovers free to marry, but the discovery of a legacy forces them apart. This is Hardy's most complete treatment of the theme of love across the class and age divide and the fullest expression of his fascination with science and astronomy.
Because the book defied the social norms of the day, upon release it was called shocking, and even repulsive by some critics. Hardy wrote in a letter to Edmund Gosse on 10 Dec 1882, “I get most extraordinary criticisms of T. on a T. Eminent critics write & tell me in private that it is the most original thing I have done...while other eminent critics (I wonder if they are the same) print the most cutting rebukes you can conceive—show me (to my amazement) that I am quite an immoral person...”
Multi-volume Set


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Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
Marbled boards
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raised band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books.  The bands are created...[more]
gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
Cloth
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
leaves
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]

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