London: Sampson Low, Marston, Rivington and Searle. 1882. First Edition. 3 Volumes. Octavo. Attractively bound (circa 1920s) in full blue calf by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, with burgundy title labels and gilt decoration, combed marble endpapers, top edge gilt. The original cloth covers are bound in at the rear and all half-titles are present. A clean and exceptionally handsome set. Tipped into the prelims of volume I is a short ALS from Hardy on Athenaeum notepaper. Housed in a tailor made triple compartment marbled slipcase.. Two on a Tower is a a romance story set in the world of Astronomy and was classified by the author as a fantasy, representing the fullest expression of his fascination with science. Published at the end of November 1882 at 31s.6. in an edition of 1000 copies. It was so little advertised that Hardy himself produced an advertisement, which he sent to his publishers. Disappointed by the poor reviews, Hardy wrote Edmund Gosse: 'Eminent critics write and tell me in private that it is the most original thing I have done...... while other eminent critics (I wonder if they are the same) print the most cutting rebukes you can conceive.'. Item #40423
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