London: Bradbury & Evans, 1864-1865. First edition. Third issue (with Part I's title, Mr. Facey Romford's Hounds, in solid lettering), in the original twelve monthly parts, May 1864-April 1865. Octavo (8 3/4 x 5 5/8 in; 223 x 144 mm).Collating vi, , 391, , with twenty-four hand-colored steel-engraved plates, two to each volume, heightened with gum arabic. The illustrations to Parts VIII-XII are unsigned but by Hablot K. Brown aka "Phiz." The woodcut on the upper wrapper is by Hablot K. Brown. Advertisements collate per Schwerdt, save Part VI, which lacks the Note of Lever's Martin, and Part VII, lacking the slip for The Belle of the Village. Publisher's original red-brown pictorial wrappers. Minimal restoration of spines to a few volumes, tiny chip to fore- edge of Part I, otherwise an excellent and quite lovely set. Chemised and housed in a red cloth clamshell case with black leather spine label lettered in gilt.
"Although Surtees approached his publishers in July 1861 with the idea of bringing out 'Mr. Facey Romford' they preferred not to undertake the matter until Mr. Leech's services were definitely secured and there would be no questoin of such delays as had occurred in the illustrations of 'Handley Cross.' Leech promised, however, to being in January 1862, and the situation seemed sufficiently secure to set up the type, but just at this time the artist held his first exhibition of oil paintings which proved so successful and diverting that the 'Facey Romford' illustrations were again postponed. Surtees in despair at last offered the book, in August 1864, to The Field, where is was refused. In March of that year Leech finally undertook the drawings, but never lived to complete the work, which was carried on byPhiz" (Field).
Field 225. Tooley 475. Schwerdt II, 237. Podeschi 207 (Item #3790)