A first and rare edition of the magnum opus by Eça de Queiroz, Os Maias. Divided into two volumes, with period leather bindings, this does not retain the original paperback covers. The rights to this gripping narrative were sold to Ernesto Chardron - founder of Livraria Internacional, whose estate was acquired by José Pinto de Sousa Lello for one thousand escudos in 1883. The tragic love affair between Carlos da Maia and Maria Eduarda is one of the most important works of Portuguese literature, interpreted as "an admirable fresco" of 19th century Portugal in fictional form but which might just as well portray contemporary Portugal. The work forms part of a project that Eça presented to the publisher as a collection of short novels entitled Cenas da Vida Real. The 200 pages the writer estimated for each of these novels would soon be massively exceeded by Os Maias but giving rise to one of the most acclaimed works of Portuguese literature.