Dublin, Printed for John Smith, 1749 [first Irish edition]/ 1749.
Duodecimo, three volumes, xvi, 330; x, 414; and vi, 365 pages.
Antique-style half morocco and marbled boards (by Zaehnsdorf); one corner very lightly bumped; scattered light foxing; Volume 1 has the first few leaves a little browned at the edges from old leather turn-ins, minimal conservation to the inner margin of the title leaf, and short tears to the margins of three leaves expertly sealed; Volume 3 has short tears to the margins of one leaf expertly sealed, and a crease to the title leaf (a production flaw); early ink ownership signature (J. King) to the title leaf of each volume; minimal signs of use and age; overall a very good set, handsomely bound.
Fielding's comic masterpiece was 'so eagerly received by its first readers that four [London] editions totaling 10,000 copies were called for in less than a year' (Battestin: 'A Henry Fielding Companion'). This unauthorised first Irish edition was published in the same year, further attesting to the immediate popularity of the novel. [3 items].