London: Printed for S. Richardson; And Sold by J. Osborn, in Pater-Noster Row; and John Rivington, in St. Paul's Church-Yard, 1742. Mixed edition, Vols. 1-2 the sixth, Vols. 3-4 the third, together comprising the first complete edition. Four vols. 8vos, vii, xxxvi, 407; 438; 516; 494pp, with frontispieces and plates by Hayman and Gravelot; full period panelled tree calf with gilt spines, recased. Small paper label tipped to the upper corner of the front endpaper of vol. 1, with a small rectangle of resultant offsetting on the facing pastedown; edges rubbed and lightly dusted; a handsome set. Item #205885
Richardson's first novel was wildly popular upon publication, going into five editions within the first year, alongside numerous piracies, and marking the auspicious beginning of the character-driven novel form in English. Originally a two-volume work, Richardson expanded the novel to include the account of his heroine's "exalted condition" to forestall an unauthorized sequel. Volumes 3 and 4 were thus published independently starting in 1742, their third edition being issued together with the sixth edition of Vols. 1 and 2. It was also the first time that the work featured the engraved illustrations by Francis Hayman and Hubert Gravelot. Richardson himself commissioned the illustrations for this edition, which did not prove commercially successful. In addition, he made numerous revisions to the text for this edition, intending it to be the final version, although he did in fact continue to revise it right up to his death. Sale pp. 20-32.