William Thackeray

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Donmau | 22:46 Wed 07th May 2014 | Books & Authors
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My dad has a book, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thakeray, measuring approx 6" x 5". A semi-secured note in the front of the book (which is volume 1) advises that there will be 2 volumes but that the second is unfinished. It was printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co., Edinburgh and London and on one page is "London: Smith, Elder & Co., 15 Waterloo Place 1886". Could it be worth anything ? Also a semi-secured note to be more precise says:

'VANITY FAIR', Vol. II. will be published on 26th May;
'PENDENNIS', Vol. 1. on the 26th June.
Inside the book it says:
And at the bottom of the Red spine is Smith Elder & Co. - whom I presume are the Publishers, although it doesn't say that anywhere..
Any further comments welcomed.
Thanks in anticipation.


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The British Library catalogue records Vanity Fair being added to its collection in 1849 (and published by Bradbury and Evans), so what you've got clearly ISN'T a first edition. (Sorry!).

Your father appears to have got a volume of the series "The Works of William Makepeace Thackeray in Twenty-six Volumes", that was published by Smith, Elder & Co in 1886. A few optimistic antiquarian booksellers might try to sell it for a few hundred quid but it's exceptionally unlikely that any sensible buyer would pay such a price for it. Realistically, like this volume from the same series, it's probably actually worth about a fiver:
(Sorry again!)
well I just happen to know that Vanity Fair was first published in 1848.

[ you just neva know when you will come across a first ed in a junk shop and so you have to have a list in your mind of first-printed ]

1848 wasnt a bad year for books - Jane Eyre I think and Dickens did one ( of course )

Hang on to it as it is a good novel. Dominic Winter auction books on line. a 1848 Vanity Fair I wouldnt have thought was more than £200-£500. The first books of unknown authors are always much more than later ones as the print run is so low - 500 usually.

You can sell an average first edition Dickens - and you wont get a dickens of a lot of money. few hundred.

First ed of the first harry potter - 19000 yeah nineteen thou.
successful builders buy them for their liddle gurlz apparently

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William Thackeray

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