Item Added

Miller, Thomas
Gideon Giles the Roper.

Gideon Giles the Roper.

Seller ID: 1417

London: James Hayward, 1841. First edition (pp. 376) with 24 engraved plates by Edward Lambert and twelve wood engravings by C. Gray. Large octavo (22 cm) in brown cloth with impressed and gilt decoration, gilt titles to spine. A romance set in the countryside with a cast of country characters-- baronets and squires and 'gipsies', honest fellows and villains, the ingenue and the country wife. Miller never wrote a scene without thoroughly and enthusiastically describing everything in it and sometimes things which, while they may not actually have been part of the scene, might somehow have been part of it, even hypothetically. This indulgence affects the pace of his narrative although, to be fair, he may sometimes have been paid by the word. In his biographical sketch for the ODNB, Louis James says, "Although much of his life was a struggle against poverty, fatigue, and, later, illness and spells of blindness, Miller produced more than any other Victorian working-class author [He was a basket-maker], publishing over forty-five titles besides numerous contributions to periodicals. He showed great versatility. Rural Sketches (1839) and Our Old Town (1847) are vivid accounts of his childhood Lincolnshire; his continuation of G. W. M. Reynolds's The Mysteries of London (volume 5, 1949) dramatized urban crime. His miscellaneous writing includes A History of the Anglo-Saxons (1856), books for boys, and collections of poems and essays. Miller's best writing of the countryside has genuine charm, and though non-political does record its sufferings. Miller attracted a large popular readership, and Spencer T. Hall records meeting a shepherd whose eyes were opened to rural beauty by Gideon Giles (Hall, 321�2). ...Miller's life was a tragic example of aspirations crushed by Victorian Grub Street...." Some discolouration at the margins of several engravings, light wear to extremities. A very good copy.

Price: $50.00


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