London: Bradbury & Evans, July - December 1859 (volume 1). Large octavo, 6 issues, bound together in nineteenth-century three-quarter leather and pebbled cloth. A literary miscellany founded by Bradbury & Evans, proprietors of PUNCH, following the termination of their joint ownership with Charles Dickens of HOUSEHOLD WORLDS. To distinguish ONCE A WEEK from Dickens' publications, the proprietors "would stress illustrations and charge a slightly higher price, give opportunity to unknown contributors, allow writers the option of signing their contributions, and avoid programs of social reform or party allegiances. The content would be general articles of good quality, to appeal to generally middle-class, liberal-minded readers of fair educational standard." - Sullivan, British Literary Magazines: The Victorian and Edwardian Age, 1837-1913, p. 287. Artists contributing illustrations to these issues include Hablot K. Browne, John Leech, J. E. Millais, John Tenniel and others. The major work in these numbers is Charles Reade's serial, "A Good Fight," the first version of THE CLOISTER AND THE HEARTH (1861), his vast historical romance set in fifteenth-century Europe. In spite of its literary merits, ONCE A WEEK was a commercial failure (it expired in 1880). ONCE A WEEK "was a respectable literary miscellany. Its writers were among the finest of those contributing to any popular Victorian periodical. And its contribution to the history of book-illustration art was outstanding." - Sullivan, p. 292. This is a bind-up of the original issues. Joints broken, spine panel detached, needs rebinding; contents fine. There are a number of short supernatural tales here, as well as at least one SF sketch, "The Artificial Man." (#162758).

Price: $25.00

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