"No on hath seen beauty in its highest lustre who hath never seen it in distress": FIRST EDITION OF TOM JONES; THEODORE ROOSEVELTS COPY WITH HIS BOOKPLATE TO EACH VOLUME
The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling.
Item Number: 3802
London: Printed for A. Millar, 1749.
First edition. President Theodore Roosevelt’s copy, with his arms “Qui plantavit curabit” bookplate to each pastedown. Small octavo, six volumes. Bound in full calf. All edges gilt, gilt titles and tooling to the spines, double gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, inner dentelles, marbled endpapers. With the errata leaf present in vol. I and with most called for cancels: Vol. I: B9, 10; Vol. II: N12; Vol. III: H8-10, M3; Vol. IV: B1, Vol. V: N8. [without the cancels at B4 and 5 in vol. II and Q11 in vol. III]. Light wear to the extremities. An exceptional set with fine provenance.
"The book is generally regarded as Fieldings greatest, and as one of the first and most influential of English novels" (Drabble, 988). "Such was the demand that all 2,500 copies in print had already been sold by the date announced for its official publication, a phenomenon that one observer believed to be 'an unheard-of case.' Tom Jones quickly sold 10,000 copies, making it one of the great best-sellers of its time; it has never since been out of print." (John Allen Stevenson, The Real History of Tom Jones).