"We hear a great deal of lamentation nowadays, proceeding mostly from elderly people, on the decline of the Art of Conversation among us."
COLLINS, Wilkie. My Miscellanies. London: Sampson Low & Co., 1863.
2 vols, 8vo; original dark green cloth, patterned in blind, spines lettered in gilt, olive green endpapers; vol. I pp. vi, [ii], 291, [i], (16, advertisements, unopened); vol. II pp. [iv], 300, (16, advertisements, some unopened); a little cloth warping to upper cover of volume one, some mild rubbing and occasional interior foxing, covers unfaded, sturdy aside from a little weakness to the internal hinges (as usual), a very good set, with the bookplate of John Martineau to front paste down endpapers.
First Edition, of this set of collected essays, originally published in Household Words between 1857-1861. Sometimes found in a later brown remainder binding, or lacking the advertisements at the end of both volumes. The essays are divided into subcategories, including Sketches of Character, Curiosities of Literature and Social Grievances. Some of the essays retain relevance today, particularly the Social Grievances, which bear titles one can instantly empathise with such as "Save Me From My Friends" or "Give Us Room". As a whole, the essays are united by Collins' biting wit and scathing disdain for Victorian sensibilities.