The Luck of Barry Lyndon
New York: Appleton, 1852-1853. First Edition. Hardcover. 2 vols. 1st edition, preceding the London edition by 3 years. This is one of the scarcer 1st state sets with vol. I dated 1852, maybe issued tenuously, or not, but certainly published singly before vol. II, and even the more usual sets, with both volumes dated 1853, are not seen on many shelves. 19th century 3/4 morocco, both half–titles, very good. Very good. Item #832
Barry is a lucky rogue, a sybaritic grifter and gambler, handsome and fearless, yet fatally flawed. He benefits from the most favorable circumstances, but is ultimately undone because he burdens his good fortune, with more personal baggage than Lady Gaga on safari. Thackeray’s minor theme says the chief advantage of being born into society is that one can see
what a tawdry public play it is. Thackeray’s major theme (from the first sentence) says villainy is revealed through self–justification.