London: Osgood, McIlvaine, and Co., 1896. H. Macbeth-Raeburnx. First edition. Etching by H. Macbeth-Raeburn and a map of Wessex.
First Edition. 8vo. [209 x 141 x 45 mm]. viii, 516 pp. Original green cloth, titles to spine and roundel to front board gilt, top edge gilt, others untrimmed. Endpapers lightly browned, light markings to the cloth. Etched frontispiece on series-title verso, map of Wessex at end. Slight foxing to front and rear endleafs. Fine. Item #2
Considered one of Hardy's greatest novels. The page numbering was altered during printing, so that sigs. A-H exist in two distinct states, often found mixed. In the first state page numbers are present on partially blank pages, but this was later altered to omit numbers at the chapter endings (in conformity with the later gatherings). This copy is predominantly in early state, with all but three page numbers present in the first eight signatures. Purdy, 86–91.