First Edition In Original Cloth
Villette. By Currer Bell, Author of “Jane Eyre,” “Shirley,” etc. In Three Volumes.
London: Smith, Elder & Co.... 1853.
[BRONTË, Charlotte]. Villette. By Currer Bell, Author of "Jane Eyre," "Shirley," etc. In Three Volumes. London: Smith, Elder & Co...., 1853.
First edition. Three octavo volumes (7 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches; 195 x 125 mm). , 324, [12, publisher’s catalogue dated February 1853]; , 319, [1, printer's imprint]; , 350, [1, printer's imprint], [1, blank] pp. No half-titles called for.
Original greenish-brown morocco-grain cloth decoratively stamped in blind with a three-line border enclosing a rectangular border that contains a floral design in each corner. Spines stamped in blind with a floral design at head and tail. Spines lettered in gilt. Original pale yellow coated endpapers. Top edges uncut. A very minor amount of rubbing to cloth. A bit of light finger soiling. A few pages with small marginal stains, and page 107 of volume III opened rough at fore-edge, but not affecting text. Housed in green cloth clamshell. A near fine copy in an unsophisticated state.
"The novel, like its predecessor The Professor (then unpublished), is based on the author's experiences in Brussels, here renamed Villette, and also has as its centre a pupil-teacher relationship... The novel combines a masterly portrayal of Belgian daily life with a highly personal use of the elements of Gothic fiction; Charlotte Brontë uses hints of the supernatural... to heighten the impression of her heroine's nervous isolation and heroic fortitude; but all the apparitions are found to have realistic explanations" (The Oxford Companion to English Literature).
Villette was published on 28 January 1853, and the earlier sets have twelve-page publisher's catalogues bearing that date. Smith records sets containing catalogues dated February 1853 [Present Copy], March 1854, and December 1854.
Parrish, p. 95 (publisher's catalogue dated January 1853). Sadleir 349 (publisher's catalogue dated January 1853). Smith, Brontë, 6. Wolff 828 (publisher's catalogue dated March 1854).
Parrish, p. 95. Sadleir 349. Smith, Brontë, 6. Wolff 828.