London: Smith, Elder & Co, 1882. Limited to 1000 sets, this being set number 164. Ten large octavo volumes (8 7/8 x 6 1/2 inches; 225 x 165 mm.). Contemporary full paneled speckled calf for Hopkins of Glasgow (stamped to verso of front free endpaper). Floral corner devices in gilt. Double ruled gilt borders. Five gilt ruled raised bands. Six compartments, two of which have morocco labels, the remaining four gilt ornamented and decorated. Dentelles. All edges gilt. Frontispieces. Black and white illustrated plates with tissue guards throughout. A Fine set.
"Fielding is generally agreed to be an innovating master of the highest originality He himself believed that he was 'the founder of a new province of writing' and Sir W. Scott commended him for his 'high notions of the dignity of an art which he may be considered as having funded'... In breaking away... he devised what he described as 'comic epics in prose', which are in effect the first modern novels in English" (OCEL). (Item #3639)