George Allen, London, 1899. FIRST EDITION, first printing. Spectacular condition considering age, slight lean. Bound in green cloth heavily decorated to the top board in bright gilt with butterflies, stars, nymps etc.; titled and decorated to the spine; gilt edges on all sides.Introduction by Austin Dobson. Fantastic whimsical Hugh Thomson illustrations throughout. Reade's first novel, Peg Woffington is an adaptation of his successful stage-play, Masks and Faces, based on an actual eighteenth-century actress and her love affairs. Finding his novel more successful than plays, Reade turned almost exclusively to prose for the next thirty years, writing historical fiction, sensation novels, and novels of social reform. Despite their generally popular and assuredly financial success, Reade's works were so full of sexual infidelities that they remained only marginally acceptable to publishers and libraries. Illustrated by Hugh Thomson with numerous full and partial page b&w's. A beautiful copy. 298 pages.