BRONTE, Anne. Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Thomas Hodgson, London, 1854.
Small 8vo. Half red straight-grain morocco over marbled paper boards, gilt title to spine; pp.371; some light edge wear to covers, spine darkened, small ink inscription to reverse front free endpaper, a bright copy internally.
This is the first appearance in a single volume of Anne Bronte's scandalous masterpiece. Sometimes called the first sustained feminist novel, Anne's book was originally published as three volumes in 1848 - Anne died shortly after, and her sister Charlotte prevented any future printings until 1854. The book sent ripples through society, with the protagonist abandoning her drunk, abusive husband and fleeing with their child - in contravention of both societal expectation and 19th century English law. When Thomas Hodgson produced this edition, they mutilated the text, rearranging sections and removing words to their liking - many later printings of the novel to this day are based on this edition (despite claiming to be unabridged) making this a critically important printing not only of Wildfell Hall, but also in respect to the wider Bronte canon.