With Two Signed Letters Laid In[Thomas Hughes]. Tom Brown's School Days. Cambridge: Macmillan & Co., 1857.
First edition, first issue with "nottable" for "notable" on line 15, page 24. Octavo. 420 pages, 24-page publisher's catalog bound in back. Original Thomas Hughes ALS tipped in between the title page and dedication page. Additional Hughes ALS laid-in.
Original blue cloth with twin rules stamped in blind on the front and rear boards and titles stamped in gilt on the spine. Yellow endpapers. The boards display some minor scuffing, bumped corners and the edges and joints are shelf worn. The spine panel is slightly toned. Three former owners' bookplates - W. Van. R. Whithall, George Barr McCutcheon, and Charles C. Auchincloss - adorn the front pastedown and front free endpaper. Contents still rather bright. The book is housed in a blue cloth chemise and handsomely presented in a beautiful quarter leather slipcase with titles stamped in gilt on the spine. Very good.
Tipped in to this lovely copy is a one page, 4.5 x 7 inch, autograph letter from Hughes dated May 5, 1857 (the same year as the publication of Tom Brown), to an unnamed, but obviously close associate. It reads in part: "You dear old cheery Vagabond, When are you coming down to the Firs?...you promised (my wife declares) to come down at least three weeks back, & she has had your collar & tie be washed so long that it is turning yellow again - Come Tomorrow! Ever yours affly [sic], Tho Hughes P.S. I have had a very kind note from Mrs. Arnold about Tom B - Every body tells every body else so I don't pretend to keep it a secret -". His post script is an obvious reference to his anonymous authorship of Tom Brown, listing only "By An Old Boy" on the title page.
A second ALS, dated July 16, 1883, is laid in. In reply to an unknown correspondent, the letter reads in part: "I am much obliged by your kind note - There has never been any collection of my articles essays of which are scattered all over the magazines & periodicals for 35 years or thereabouts & never will be as I don't think them worth collecting...".
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