Beckford, William ; Walpole, Horace ; Lewis, M.G.

(Beckford) Vathek ; an Arabian tale … with notes, critical and explanatory ; (Walpole) The Castle of Otranto : a Gothic story ; (Lewis) The Bravo of Venice : a romance. Translated from the German by M.G.Lewis.

London, Richard Bentley 1836 (”Standard Novels no.XLI”).

Reference: 13309
Price: £65 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. 3 works in 1. Engraved frontispiece (for Vathek), engraved title leaf (for Vathek), engraved portrait of Horace Walpole (for Castle of Otranto), (4) + 396pp (each book has its own title leaf dated 1836 but the pagination is continuous). Contemporary quarter calf, marbled boards (binding cracked at front hinge). From the library of Colston’s Girls School, Bristol, with its bookplate, but no other library markings. Offsetting on frontispiece and engraved title leaf of Vathek, but otherwise a generally good, clean copy.

An 1836 reissue, with altered pagination, of this composite volume originally published in 1834 as vol.41 in Bentley’s series of Standard Novels. Discussions about publication of Vathek in this series were under way by early November 1833, but Bentley’s decision to issue Vathek along with novels by Walpole and “Monk” Lewis does not seem to have pleased Beckford, who regarded the two other titles as “trash”. The volume nonetheless made available to a wide readership texts of Vathek and of The Castle of Otranto, the two most celebrated fantasy romances of the later eighteenth century, and it ran to three editions in all (1834, 1836, 1849). Millington p. 258.

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