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[PEACOCK, Thomas Love, 1785-1866] - [Gothic Novel] Nightmare Abbey: By the Author of Headlong Hall

London, Printed for T. Hookham, Jun. Old Bond-Street; and Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy, Paternoster-Row, 1818. Half-Calf. First Edition of "the most esteemed of Peacock's seven novels." (Kiernan) 12mo (165 x 95mm): [4],218pp. Contemporary butterscotch half-calf over marbled boards, flat spine in six compartments divided by gilt rules, title direct to second compartment, others with gilt pinwheel device; stenciled arms to front paste-down. Binding lightly rubbed, else a handsome copy, fresh, bright and virtually free of foxing. Sadleir 1957f. Kiernan (Frivolity Unbound), pp. 29-37. Butler (Peacock Displayed), pp 102-39. In Nightmare Abbey, Peacock pokes fun at the gloom and melancholy of the gothic genre and satirizes the Romantics, principally Byron, Coleridge, and Shelley. "Though it received little notice on its first appearance, Nightmare Abbey is now perhaps Peacock's Pride and Prejudice, his most generally liked and frequently read book." (Butler) Given the same year of publication and that both satirize the gothic, Nightmare Abbey is frequently compared with Austen's Northanger Abbey, although, as Howard Mills points out (in Peacock: The Satirical Novels, pp. 200-230), "Unlike Jane Austen, Peacock is more interested in ideas than people." Peacock, a friend of Shelley, wrote novels that combined elements of fantasy and social commentary. This, his third, represents a return to the pattern of Headlong Hall, his first. But if "Headlong Hall provides the primordial setting for a wide-ranging Enlightenment debate on human progress, Nightmare Abbey seems like nothing so much as a kind of gothic confection with its sliding panels and secret apartments. It is described as 'a venerable family-mansion, in a highly picturesque state of semi-dilapitation, pleasantly situated on a strip of dry land between the sea and the fens, at the verge of the county of Lincoln'. Nightmare Abbey's debates focus on the morbid turn taken by modern literature. Scythrop Glowry [a caricature of Shelley] is the extreme instance of where such morbid tendencies can lead — especially when coupled with an inability (like the heroine of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey) to distinguish between life and literature." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.). Near Fine+ .
USD 1665.00 [Appr.: EURO 1534.25 | £UK 1312.75 | JP¥ 250547] Book number BB2696

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