The Works of George Eliot
Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, no date, circa 1880s. Twenty small octavo volumes, contemporary crimson three-quarter morocco gilt over marbled boards, marbled edges and endpapers, raised bands, elaborate gilt tooling to spines. Light occasional shelfwear and spotting to bindings, foxing to preliminaries only, engraved bookplate to front pastedown of Silas Marner.
Handsomely bound “Cabinet Edition" of George Eliot's fiction and poetry, published by William Blackwood and Sons, who in 1857 had launched Eliot's career by publishing her anonymous stories in Blackwood's Magazine. This set includes all of Eliot's major works, including Scenes of Clerical Life, Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, Romola, Daniel Deronda, and Middlemarch: “If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity." Complete in twenty volumes; four supplementary volumes were issued with later editions. A handsome set of some of the greatest English novels.