Large 8vo. Illustr. [Frederic Leighton] with 24 [all] plates, 14 decorated initials and a tailpiece. Contemp. half calf w. raised bands. Inner front hinge broken, otherwise very good.
Kommentar: Perhaps the least widely read novel by Eliot, a hidden gem. An historical novel set in Florence between 1492 and 1498, meaning the first few years of the republic after the end of Medici rule. It was criticised by the general public at the time for the density of the historical material, but some of the greatest writers of Eliot’s time were admirers, among them Robert Browning, Tennyson and Trollope.
This is the first edition, complete as it was published in Cornhill magazine in seriealised form. It was the first novel of Eliot’s to be published in instalments like this. She later wrote of the book: ‘I began it a young woman – I finished it an old woman’.