The Western Avernus or Toil and Travel in Further North America
Westminster: Archibald Constable and Co., 1896. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 8vo. Illustrated by A. D. McCormick, and from photographs. Original dark green cloth, gilt-lettered, gilt landscape vignette on front cover, top edges gilt, binder's ticket of Leighton Son and Hodge at inside rear cover. Spine dull, some light rubbing at extremities. A very good copy, with the folding map at rear. Item #409171
New edition of the author's first book – first published in 1887 – dedicated "To My Friends George Gissing and W. H. Hudson." This is the dedication to the former, inscribed by the author on the half-title: "To George Gissing from his friend Morley Roberts, 23.11.96," followed by two lines in Latin from the Aeneid: "Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit / Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis" ("Perhaps one day it will be pleasant to remember even these things. / Endure, and keep yourselves safe for better times," not consecutive in the original text of AENEID 1.198-207).
Roberts (1557-1942) was born the same year as Gissing; the two attended the same school where they became lifelong friends. After several years of travel and adventure, Roberts became one of the best-paid writers of fiction in the 1890s; by the time of his death he had authored some 80 books. His fictional biography of his longtime friend, 'The Private Life of Henry Maitland' (1912), greatly upset Gissing's family and friends. (BA and TL).