MATURIN, Charles Robert. Melmoth the Wanderer. A New Edition from the Original Text with a Memoir and Bibliography of Maturin’s Works.


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Portrait frontispiece. Three volumes. London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1892. Crown octavo. pp. (1) lxv, 295 (2) iv, 326, [2] (3) iv, 335. Title page printed in red. Publisher’s device on title page. Original dark green cloth, spines lettered in gilt, yellow coated endpapers, fore edges uncut. An excellent set.
Title page printed in dark red. Publisher’s device on title page. A very attractive set of this classic Gothic novel about a man who sells his soul to the Devil, by the novelist and Protestant clergyman Charles Maturin. His novel offers a social commentary on England in the early 19th century, and a heavy critique of Catholicism. First published in 1820, the alterations of this new edition consist of some minor corrections and the added material - the memoir and bibliography. Macmillan took over Richard Bentley & Son in 1898; this is a remainder binding. Sadleir, XIX Century Fiction, 1667 note. Charles Robert Maturin, also known as C. R. Maturin (1780-1824), was a Protestant clergyman and a writer of Gothic plays and novels. His best known work is this novel, Melmoth the Wanderer. Maturin was descended from Huguenots who found refuge in Ireland. He was born in Dublin and attended Trinity College. Shortly after being ordained as curate of Loughrea, County Galway, in 1803, he moved back to Dublin as curate of St Peter’s Church. He lived in York Street with his father William, a Post Office official, and his mother, Fedelia Watson, and married on 7 October 1804 the acclaimed singer Henrietta Kingsbury. Melmoth the Wanderer was also published in French translation in 1821 and served as an influential model for writers in France. A sister of Maturin’s wife married Charles Elgee, whose daughter Jane Francesca became the mother of Oscar Wilde. Thus Charles Maturin was Oscar Wilde’s great-uncle by marriage. Wilde discarded his own name and adopted the name of Maturin’s novel, Melmoth, during his exile in France.

[Cat 148 Porch]


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