London: Macmillan & Co. , 1890. First thus. C8 (5 ¼ x 7 ¼). p. xxxv; 305. AUSTIN DOBSON ALS BOUND IN.

Bound by Zaehnsdorf in full, gold-stamped crimson levant, with dentelles, crimson silk endpapers and a.e.g. In a deep red cloth slipcase with red and brown marbled paper side panels and interior. Frontispiece and 181 vignette illustrations by Hugh Thomson, and includes the suppressed plate seen only in this issue on p. 95 that features a maid reading a handbill while seated on the back of man bending over. ALS from Austin Dobson on Board of Trade letterhead tipped in verso to the second front flyleaf.

First published in 1766, the Vicar of Wakefield is a portrait of village life, narrated by the title character, whose family endures many trials—including the loss of most of their money, the seduction of one daughter, the destruction of their home by fire, and the vicar’s incarceration—before all is put right in the end. It was one of the most widely read novels in Victorian England, and was given another boost of popularity in the Edwardian Era from Thomson's illustrations in the present volume.

Unknown to many, prior to his career as a poet, essayist and biographer, Austin Dobson studied art and helped Hugh Thomson early in his career to refine his illustration style. That he was pleased with the success of the Vicar of Wakefield is obvious in the tipped letter (on his Board of Trade letterhead) to his friend Cary (identity unknown). Although the letter mentions a inscribed copy of "Vicar" that Dobson sent to Cary, this book is not inscribed:

"Jan iii, '91
My dear Cary,
I wrote to you some days ago a letter expressing (indecipherable) regard, and thanking you for your charming present. This letter will never reach you, because it never left me. I found it in my pocket, after trying to sleep off a (indecipherable) at the club, But I am very grateful to you; and you will have to endure my (indecipherable) as a correspondent.

Did you get Thomson's Vicar of Wakefield? I sent it you (sic) about three weeks back with an inscription? It has been a great success here -- 5000 copies, of wh: 300 large paper, sold by Christmas .
Always Yours
Austin Dobson.

A near fine copy in a very good marble paper covered slipcase.

Spielmann and Jerrold 5; Balston 3; Rogerson 3; Layard 173.


Author Name: [THOMSON, HUGH (Illustrator)]; [ZAEHNSDORF (binding design)]; GOLDSMITH, OLIVER; DOBSON, AUSTIN (preface).

Illustrator: Hugh Thomson

Categories: Macmillan Cranford Series, Fine Binding, FICTION - 19TH C. ENGLISH, HUGH THOMSON, [MANUSCRIPT LETTERS],

Edition: First Thus

Publisher: London, Macmillan & Co.: 1890

Binding: Full Morocco

Book Condition: Near Fine

Size: C8vo

Seller ID: 1948

Keywords: Austin Dobson ALS; Hugh Thomson; Cranford Series; Zaehnsdorf binding