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Fine Binding, Illustrated, Limited Edition
Numbered 559/1000 copies printed. A stunning binding by the prominent binder, Zahensdorf. With patterned doublures. This is a work of historical fiction, set in fifteenth century Italy. 'Romola' is a novel set in fifteenth century Florence, taking place during historical events during the Italian Renaissance. The novel centers around Romola de' Bardi, the daughter of the blind classical scholar bardo de' Bardi. She herself is immersed in classical studies, and eventually falls in love with Tito Melema. Tito is a handsome young scholar, arriving in Florence after being shipwrecked. He eventually succumbs to ambitions and self-preservation, earning Romola's disdain. This novel was a far cry from George Eliot's other novels, all of which were set in nineteenth century England. Though it is considered to be one of the author's greatest works, it never was her most popular novel. Eliot supposedly spent eighteen months researching and contemplating the novel, including taking several trips to Florence. Eliot's best known works are 'Middlemarch' and 'The Mill on the Floss', and she was known for her realism and psychological insight in her writings. Illustrated by Frederick Leighton, a painter and sculptor known for his work depicting historical, biblical, and classical scenes. With a frontispiece, and eleven plates to Volume I, and a frontispiece and eleven plates to Volume II. Collated, complete. Prior owner's bookplate to the front pastedown, Edmund Whitelock Reeves. Loosely inserted is a letter from one Alfred Markly dated July 1884 gifting this book to one Louie Hunter as a wedding present. A finely bound set of this charming Victorian novel by a noted author, complemented by beautiful illustrations.
In a full crushed morocco binding. Externally, in a lovely condition. A small patch of rubbing to the head of spine to volume II, and to the top raised band of the same volume. A light mark to the front board of volume II. Bookplate to the front pastedown, Edmund Whitelock Reeves. Internally, firmly bound.
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