Red cloth hard covers heavily decorated on the front and the spine in gilt plus gilt titles on the front and the spine. The top and base of the spine are bumped and chipped, the spine is split along the front hinge for three quarters of its length. Gilt page edges. Gift inscription on reverse of first free endpaper. The title page and preface are detached, there are cracked hinges at several places through the text but no other pages are loose. Twelve unabridged essays by Irving, Lamb, De Quincey, Emerson, Arnold, Morley, Lowell, Carlyle, Macaulay, Froude, Freeman, and Gladstone. Twelve photographic portraits. First edition.