By The King’s Command

Hugo, Victor


Place Published: b&w frontispiece illustration
Date Published: no date (c1890?)
Illustrator: b&w frontispiece illustration
Size: 8vo

Scarce early Australian edition of Victor Hugo’s novel set in England during the reigns of James II and Queen Anne, first published in 1869 as “L’Homme Qui Rit”, and variously appearing in English editions as ‘The Man Who Laughs’, ‘By Order of the King’ (after it’s French subtitle), or as here ‘By The King’s Command’; published by Ellis & Lake (of Melbourne and Sydney), no further publishing details – preface dated 1869, but this certainly just retains the date from Hugo’s original; there is a Ward Lock & Co. catalogue to rear of text (which suggests a connection with Ellis & Lake), wherein the Melbourne office of WL & Co is referenced, and since they did not open offices in Melbourne until 1884, it could not have been published before that date; in any case a late 19th-C Australian edition; Ellis & Lake publications are very scarce, as is any information in their regard; red cloth boards with black borders, five compartments to spine with gilt titling and devices, all edges gilt, decorative endpapers; medium-heavy tanning/foxing to prelims, occasional foxing in text, endpapers front and rear a little fragile (but holding) o.w. Good throughout; boards rubbed, corners knocked, some worn patches and spotting.

ID: 22105 Category: