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Romola by George Eliot, 1863, 2 Volumes, Inlaid Leather and Vellum Bindings



Romola by George Eliot (aka Mary Ann Evans), 2 Volumes

Published by Bernhard Tauchnitz, Leipzig in 1863

Custom Full Leather and Vellum Bindings

Near FINE Condition

Binding Details:  Beautiful contemporary elaborately decorated inlaid morocco leather and vellum bindings. Both volumes are hand-tooled with gilt lettering and designs on both the front and rear boards and on the spine. The endleaves are patterned silk moiré and the page ends are gilted.  Each book has a silk ribbon bookmark.

Book Details:  These volumes were published in 1863, the same year as the Smith Elder first edition. Each volume contains 6 tipped-in full page portraits and photographs of Florence on heavy card-stock paper.

George Eliot's own favorite among her novels, this novel tells the story of Romola, the intelligent daughter of a blind scholar, who is falling in love with a man who is going to change her life and the politics of Florence in a way she doesn't like. Set in 15th century Florence, it is a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view. Stav Nisser’s summary in Librivox goes on to state, “'There is no book of mine about which I more thoroughly feel that I swear by every sentence as having been written with my best blood' Wrote George Eliot of Romola, the novel which argues her most profound and utopian vision of the position of women. Romola's patient subservience to her scholar-father Bardo, her unhappy marriage to supple and treacherous Tito, and her passionate intellectual and spiritual awakening take place in Renaissance Florence which, like Victorian Britain, was caught up in a period of ferment and transition. Romola appeared in 1863 to high praise by Victorians from Tennyson and Trollope to Henry James, and discerning modern readers will recognize it as George Eliot's first mature masterpiece.”

Each book measures 7.75” x 6.75”. Volume 1 contains 391 pages and Volume 2 contains 375 pages.

Condition Report:  The bindings are in Near Fine condition with minor soiling to the boards and a rub to the title tile on Volume 2. The bindings are very tight and secure. There is more pronounced soiling to the inside board edges from offsetting from the endpapers. Internally the book is very clean with some light sporadic foxing to the title pages. There is a bookplate on the first free endpaper of each volume with a handwritten dedication dated Florence, April, 1903.

Photographs of the books and examples of some of the photographs in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.