Ward, Mrs. Humphry (Mary Augusta), Robert Elsmere. (MacMillan and Company: London and New York, 1888)
Octavo in two volumes. Volume I, 459 pages. Volume II, 448 plus 4 pages of advertisements. Bound in dark green publishers cloth, English case bound. with a box blind stamped on both front and rear cover. Title, author, volume and publisher gilt stamped on both spines with single horizontal rule gilt stamped at top and bottom. Printed by R & R Clark of Edinburgh. Early edition in two volumes published in the same year as the first.
Vol. I) Corners lightly bumped. Light foxing on front and rear pastedown and free endpaper. Pencil mark on bottom reverse of page 459 appearing to be marks of a previous bookseller. Light toning throughout.
Vol. II) Corners slightly bumped and slight bubbling on front cover of Vol. II. Light foxing on front and rear pastedown and free endpaper. Pencil mark on bottom of last advertisement page appearing to be marks of a previous bookseller. Some spotting on edge of textblock penetrating slightly into textblock.
Ref. Wolff 7024b
“Mary Augusta Ward began her career writing articles for Macmillan’s Magazine while working on a book for children that was published in 1881 under the title Milly and Olly. This was followed in 1884 by a more ambitious, though slight, study of modern life, Miss Bretherton, the story of an actress. Ward’s novels contained strong religious subject matter relevant to Victorian values she herself practised. Her popularity spread beyond Great Britain to the United States. Her book Lady Rose’s Daughter was the best-selling novel in the United States in 1903, as was The Marriage of William Ashe in 1905. Ward’s most popular novel by far was the religious “novel with a purpose” Robert Elsmere, which portrayed the emotional conflict between the young pastor Elsmere and his wife, whose over-narrow orthodoxy brings her religious faith and their mutual love to a terrible impasse; but it was the detailed discussion of the “higher criticism” of the day, and its influence on Christian belief, rather than its power as a piece of dramatic fiction, that gave the book its exceptional vogue. It started, as no academic work could have done, a popular discussion on historic and essential Christianity.“ – Wikipedia