The Wandering Jew. by SUE, Marie-Joseph ‘Eugène’ 1804-1857).

SUE, Marie-Joseph ‘Eugène’ 1804-1857).

The Wandering Jew. By Eugène Sue, Author of ‘The Mysteries of Paris’, etc. etc. Vol. I [-III]. London, Chapman and Hall, 1844.

First Edition in English, Second Issue. Three Volumes, 8vo (215 x 130 mm), pp. iv, 491, [1]; [iv], 375; iv, 372, tear to I, 69, through text with no loss, in contemporary half olive leather over green cloth boards, the edges of the boards slightly damp-stained with loss of pigment, boards tooled in gilt along the edges, spines ruled, lettered and numbered in gilt, marbled edges and endpapers, with the heraldic bookplate of Kemmis in each volume.

The first English edition of an international best-seller, a fiercely anti-Catholic gothic novel that was first published in serial form in Paris as Le Juif errant, 1844. Eugène Sue - who incidentally is remembered as coining the phrase ‘revenge is a dish best served cold’ (in his novel Matilde, 1841) - is mostly remembered for his socialist-inspired anti-Catholic novels, the present novel and The Mysteries of Paris, both of which were enormously popular examples of the serial novel in France. In The Wandering Jew, Sue tells of the conflict between the eponymous hero and the villain, a Jesuit called Rodin, set against a backdrop of poverty, crime and the harsh life of working class Paris, contrasted with the corruption of the nobility. Both books were highly controversial because of their vivid gothic portrayals of violence and corruption and their overtly socialist and anti-clerical message.
First published in serial form in England, this English translation appeared bi-weekly in illustrated parts at one shilling, concurrently with the original French text. When the first volume was completed for separate publication, Chapman & Hall began the publication of a series of twenty-six sixpenny parts containing the illustrations alone, which were published as Heath’s Illustrations to the Wandering Jew, 1845-1846. The present set was issued late in 1845, although the title-pages are unaltered from their first appearance in 1844, without the illustrations and bound in dark green fine-ribbed cloth.

Sadleir 3159.

Keywords: English Literature
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