Basil: A Story of Modern Life
London: Richard Bentley, 1852. Hardcover. 8vo. THE FIRST EDITION of Collins's scarce second novel. This is Collins's second full length novel and his first set in contemporary times. This novel of first love, intrigue, and betrayal was considered "sensational" by many, and it had mixed reviews, with some referring to it as "revolting." In his dedication he writes that he "has not hesitated to violate the conventionalities of sentimental fiction." In later editions, he did shorten the text and tone down the violence. "In Basil, he found his true métier as an expert in mystery, suspense, and crime" (Oxford Companion to English Literature). Three volumes bound in two. Bound in three quarter tan calf with marbled paper covered boards, with red leather labels with gilt titles to the spines of both volumes. There is some rubbing and scuffing to leather. Gilt tooling to compartments on spine, some of which has been rubbed. Full marbled edges and marbled end pages. These books remain quite attractive, though there is minor rubbing to the leather along the joints and minor bumping to the corners. There is minor foxing to the first and last few pages of both volumes but otherwise the interior is very bright and clean. LIT/092906. Very Good.