Richard Bentley. London. 1838.
NEW EDITION, REVISED. 8vo. (5.9 x 4.2 inches). xiv, 466pp. Illustrated with an engraved frontispiece and extra title-page with vignette, the engravings by F. Pickering, and both dated 1833. Original tissue paper guard still present. Half title and title pages are dated 1838. Fine early binding of full burgundy morocco. Spine with elaborate design and lettering in gilt, including the words 'Standard Novels. 32'. Boards with two blind ruled borders and decorative panel borders within. Gilt inner dentelles. yellow coated endpapers. Board edges with gilt decorative design. All edges gilt. A little toning to the two illustrated pages, mostly to the edges and not affecting the images, plus a hint of rubbing to the extremities of the binding but overall a near fine copy. ---- A neat previous owner name of the Poet and Chartist supporter Eliza Cook, dated 1840, is on the inside rear pastedown endpaper. Eliza Cook (the British Library gives her birth date as 1818 but the Oxford Dictionary of national Biography as 1812. Both agree on 1889 for her death) was a proponent of political and sexual freedom for women and herself a Lesbian, and believed in the ideology of self-improvement through education. She published her first work of poetry, Lays of a wild harp in 1835 and went on to produce the popular Eliza Cook's Journal for five years from 1849. ----- A curious binding, resembling a publishers delux leather biding of the period, it is unusual to have the name of the publishers series and number on a bespoke leather binding. However, I can find no record of Bentley ever offering a delux leather binding option to his customers.