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Great Expectations. In three volumes.: DICKENS, Charles.

DICKENS, Charles.

Published by London: Chapman and Hall, 1861 (1861)

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Item Description: London: Chapman and Hall, 1861, 1861. 3 volumes, octavo. Original violet wavy-grained cloth, the covers with floral decoration within linear border stamped in blind, spines lettered in gilt, yellow endpapers. Custom blue cloth folding case. Faint paste residue at foot of front covers, a little very light rubbing to extremities, miniscule touch of colour at foot of front joints of vols. I and II, hairline superficial cracks to inside hinges at rear of vol. I and front of vol. II, a few leaves creased where turned down to mark the place, an excellent set. With 32pp. publisher's adverts at end of Vol. III dated May 1861. First edition, first impression, published on 6 July 1861, one of 1,000 copies thus. The first edition was divided into five impressions, with distinct title pages labelling them as five editions, perhaps to imply rapid sales. The modern bibliographical authority is generally agreed to be the table given in Appendix D to the Clarendon edition, 1993, based on line-by-line collation of six 1861 copies, with additional spot checks from other copies, in which Margaret Cardwell agrees with the traditional conclusion that the same setting of type was used for all five impressions: "there is no warrant for treating the five impressions as distinct editions" (p. 491). However, she deduces that the impressions were sequential and that minor corrections and gradual deterioration of type can be shown across the five impressions. This copy has all of Cardwell's points for the first impression. Cardwell notes two variable points in Vol. III: in some copies, on p. 103, the page-number 3 is missing; and p. 193, line 23, the initial i in inflexible is missing. In this copy both are present. The first impression of Great Expectations is a famously rare book. Robert L. Patten, Charles Dickens and His Publishers (Clarendon 1978) states that 1,000 copies of the first impression and 750 of the second were printed and that probably most of the first and more than half of the second (1,400 copies in all) were published by Mudie's Select Library, where as circulating library copies they inevitably suffered a high rate of attrition. This copy of the first impression is remarkable in exceptionally good original condition, with only minimal marks of Mudie's labels on the front covers. Smith I, 14. Bookseller Inventory # 110679

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The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club.: DICKENS, Charles.

DICKENS, Charles.

Published by Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842 (1842)

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Item Description: Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842, 1842. Large octavo. Original brown vertical grain cloth, covers blind-stamped, spine with figure and title in gilt (stained, worn), inscribed to Bryant "from his friend and admirer, Charles Dickens". Housed in a brown quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Substantial dampstaining to top edges of boards, also affecting contents but to a lesser extent, head and tail of spine chipped, wormholes to joints, boards rubbed and scuffed, ring stain to front board, some spotting and oxidisation of plates, sporadic foxing and tanning to text. Provenance: by descent from the recipient. Presentation copy, inscribed by Dickens to William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), editor of the New York Evening Post and a leading poet of his generation: "William Cullen Bryant From his friend and admirer Charles Dickens", signed with his characteristic lavish underscores. Dickens met Bryant for their first private audience on his American tour on Tuesday 22 February 1842 and presented him with a gift of six books, all American editions of his own works. Bryant reciprocated by presenting Dickens a copy of this own The Fountain and other Poems, his inscription using the same form of words (that copy later in the Stephen H. Wakeman collection, sold American Art Association, April 1924, lot 26, $400). Bryant was well-disposed to Dickens, at that time the most famous living author in the world, but he, like many other Americans, was dismayed by the criticisms Dickens expressed in his American Notes (1842) and in the American chapters of Martin Chuzzlewit (1844). However, he recovered sufficiently to visit Dickens as an old friend on his return to America in 1867. The fact that this is an American edition of Dickens's first publishing success is evocative: Dickens had strong feelings on the contentious issue of international copyright, and the subject hung over the whole trip. He mentioned it himself several times during his public engagements, eventually drawing on himself the wrath of the American press. Lea and Blanchard (successors to Cary and Lea) were Dickens's "official" American publishers and had prepared for his visit by reprinting his works to date, but the American economy was in the middle of a depression, general fiction could only be sold in the cheapest possible formats, and the cash-strapped publishers were not eager to further erode their profits by paying royalties to foreign authors. Bookseller Inventory # 90110

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DICKENS, Charles

Published by N.p. [before April 1837, London (1837)

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From: Nat DesMarais Rare Books, ABAA (Portland, OR, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: N.p. [before April 1837, London, 1837. Autograph manuscript leaf from The Pickwick Papers, comprising a page from Chapter 37, with text beginning; ÒIt may be, but I ainÕt much in the chimical line myself, so I canÕt sayÓ and concluding ÒYouÕll see some very handsome uniforms.Ó. Paginated Ô75Õ at the top of the page by Dickens. [London, just before April 1837]. A leaf from the setting manuscript used by Bradbury and Evans, printers to Chapman and Hall, with many deletions and insertions by Dickens. The deletions include three full lines of text plus four words blotted out; DickensÕ insertions consist of three word added interlineally at the top left.One leaf (230 x 185 mm.), manuscript text on recto only, written in a brown ink. Inky fingerprint at lower center, minor browning to extreme edges, faint evidence of mount along one edge. Housed in an orange morocco folder with more silk lining and in a quarter morocco clamshell case.From the group of eleven leaves owned by the Comte Alain de Suzannet and later sold by SothebyÕs in 1971. The Kenyon Starling-William Self copy.A leaf from DickensÕ working manuscript of the ÒPickwick PapersÓ; One of a very few in private hands. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, which catapulted the then-young Dickens into literary fame and evidenced the economic fortuity of issuing novels in parts, was serialized from April 1936 to November 1937, and it audience grew tremendously with each monthly installment. The 25-year-old wrote, revised and delivered his manuscript to the publisher in monthly bundles. The complete manuscript, had it been preserved, would have been very large indeed. But, in keeping with the practice of the time, his holographic leaves were almost always destroyed as soon as they were set in type. Charles Hinks, foreman-printer at Bradbury & Evans, managed to save forty-four leaves of DickensÕ original manuscript from the dust bin. The great majority of these leaves are now in institutions in the US and England. Only a single leaf has been offered for sale in the last few decades and that was the one form the Paul Francis Weber collection sold by SothebyÕs in 1985.The text of this leaf constitutes part of a comic scene involving the redoubtable Sam Weller, who is much given to loud whistling. In this chapter Pickwick and his friends are in Bath and Weller has received and invitation to dine with the elegantly uniformed Ôselect footmenÕ of Bath. One John Smauk is sent to accompany Weller and he is much irritated by WellerÕs whistling. Full transcript available. Bookseller Inventory # 70802

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The Old Curiosity Shop.: DICKENS, Charles.

DICKENS, Charles.

Published by Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842 (1842)

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Item Description: Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842, 1842. Large octavo. Original brown vertical grain cloth, covers blind-stamped, spine with figure and title in gilt (stained, worn), inscribed to Bryant "from his friend and admirer, Charles Dickens". Loss to head of expertly repaired spine, front joint and hinge cracked, dampstaining to top edge of contents, boards scuffed and dampstained, foxing throughout, offsetting and oxidisation to plates. With two autograph letters signed to the poet and journalist William Cullen Bryant, Carlton House, New York, 14 and 27 February 1842, together 3 pages, 8vo, the second with later annotation to upper margin. Provenance: by descent from the recipient. Presentation copy, inscribed by Dickens to William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), editor of the New York Evening Post and a leading poet of his generation, inscribed by Dickens: "William Cullen Bryant From his friend and admirer Charles Dickens", signed with his characteristic lavish underscores, and with two accompanying autograph letters signed. In the first letter Dickens writes: "With one exception (and that's Irving) you are the man I most wanted to see in America". Dickens excuses himself for not having been able to see Bryant when he called, adding though that "As I lost what I most eagerly longed for, I ask you for your sympathy and not for your forgiveness". He presses Bryant to come and breakfast with him—"I don't call to leave a card at your door before asking you, because I love you too well to be ceremonious with you. I have a thumbed book at home, so well now that it has nothing of you on the back, but one gilt 'B', and the remotest possible traces of a 'y'. My credentials are in my earnest admiration of its beautiful contents". The second letter was the cover note to the gift of six American editions of Dickens's works, all similarly inscribed: "If I had any control over the accompanying books, they should be unillustrated, and in outward appearance more worthy your acceptance." After the delays indicated by the first letter here, Dickens finally met Bryant for their first private audience on his American tour on Tuesday 22 February 1842. Bryant responded to the gift of books by presenting a copy of this own The Fountain and other Poems, his inscription using the same form of words (that copy later in the Stephen H. Wakeman collection, sold American Art Association, April 1924, lot 26, $400). Bryant was well-disposed to Dickens, at that time the most famous living author in the world, but he, like many other Americans, was dismayed by the criticisms Dickens expressed in his American Notes (1842) and in the American chapters of Martin Chuzzlewit (1844). However, he recovered sufficiently to visit Dickens as an old friend on his return to America in 1867. The fact that this is an American edition is evocative: Dickens had strong feelings on the contentious issue of international copyright, and the subject hung over the whole trip. He mentioned it himself several times during his public engagements, eventually drawing on himself the wrath of the American press. Lea and Blanchard (successors to Cary and Lea) were Dickens's "official" American publishers and had prepared for his visit by reprinting his works to date, but the American economy was in the middle of a depression, general fiction could only be sold in the cheapest possible formats, and the cash-strapped publishers were not eager to further erode their profits by paying royalties to foreign authors. Bookseller Inventory # 90111

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Great Expectations (3 Volume Set): Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman and Hall, London (1861)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Quintessential Rare Books, LLC (Laguna Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall, London, 1861. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First Editions, First Printings of all three books without any "edition" printed on the title pages. Later editions such as second, third, fourth and fifth impressions state the impression on the title page. A wonderful set bound in the ORIGINAL publisher's purple/blue cloth limited to 1000 copies printed. This book was First published without illustrations in 36 weekly parts in Dickens's magazine All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to 3 August 1861. Dickens had planned to issue Great Expectations in monthly parts, but sales of All the Year Round were declining during the serialization of Charles Lever's A Long Day's Ride: A Life's Romance and never happened. Great Expectations and Hard Times were the only two novels by Dickens NOT published in parts. The bindings of all three books are tight, with NO cocking or leaning and the boards are crisp with some wear. There is some spotting and discoloration to the boards. The pages are clean with some foxing to each book. Overall, a wonderful set of this TRUE FIRST EDITION housed in a custom clamshell slipcase for preservation. We buy Dickens First Editions. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-14219979459

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A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Signet Classics (1968)

ISBN 10: 0451500156 ISBN 13: 9780451500151

New Mass Market Paperback

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From: Irish Booksellers (Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Signet Classics, 1968. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0451500156

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David Copperfield. A Reading. In Five Chapters: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Privately Printed [by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street], [London] (1866)

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From: James Cummins Bookseller, ABAA (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Privately Printed [by William Clowes and Sons, Stamford Street], [London], 1866. ONE OF TWO KNOWN COPIES of Dickens' private edition, the present copy in earliest state and printed on thin proofing paper. [1, title], [2, Clowes imprint], [3]-104 (text, with Clowes imprint at foot of last page) pp. 1 vols. 8vo (222 x 148 mm). One of Two Known Copies: Earliest State of Dickens' Selections from David Copperfield. Dickens' public readings were among the legendary performances of the middle nineteenth century. "Dickens poured all his resources of his art and personality into these readings (his favourite always remained the adaptation from David Copperfield)" (Ackroyd, p. 902). He condensed the novel himself and selected passages relating to Dora Spenlow, whom he modeled upon Maria Beadnell, the love of his youth. The present copy, from the library of distinguished Dickensian Herman LeRoy Edgar, is one of two known copies of the private printing ordered by Dickens. Dickens' own extensively marked and rewritten copy, from the library of Cortlandt F. Bishop (lot 566, $4100 in 1938), is now in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.The title-page is identical in both copies, with the subheadings "A Reading" and "In Five Chapters" on separate lines. The present copy is untrimmed; the text begins at page [3], "Chapter the First.," and bears pencil corrections in the margins of page 11, one correcting the spelling of the word "his" and the other noting an extra space within the word "am" (both are corrected in the Dickens copy at the Berg). Examination of the copy at the Berg reveals that it is printed on thicker wove paper stock, and that the sheets were trimmed by the binder; it contains an additional "Introduction" of twenty pages, numbered [i]-xx. The opening of this section is clearly derived from, and in fact partly printed from, the setting of type of the original Chapter the First, at pp. [3]-5, where large portions of text used in the "Introduction" are struck through. On p. [i] Dickens has written "in all, six chapters" and has corrected the chapter numbering throughout, so that the heading in type on page [3], "Chapter the First." is corrected by hand to Chapter "II." The present copy contains the earliest setting of Dickens' selection from David Copperfield. In the Ticknor & Fields authorized edition of the Readings, published in the autumn of 1867 (though dated 1868), David Copperfield follows Dickens' revised structure in six chapters. Unique in this state, and with distinguished provenance. Provenance: Herman LeRoy Edgar (his sale, 19 April 1944, $875); with leather bookplate of great Lebanese-American collector Francis Kettaneh; Kenyon Starling; Wm. Self Bound in twentieth-century red morocco, top edge gilt, others uncut, by Henderson & Bisset. With a few repairs to the title page at margins and along gutter, a few paper flaws. Fine [1, title], [2, Clowes imprint], [3]-104 (text, with Clowes imprint at foot of last page) pp. 1 vols. 8vo (222 x 148 mm) ONE OF TWO KNOWN COPIES of Dickens' private edition, the present copy in earliest state and printed on thin proofing paper. Bookseller Inventory # 238530

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Adventures of Oliver Twist Or, The Parish: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by London Bradbury and Evans (1846)

Used Soft cover First Edition Signed

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Item Description: London Bradbury and Evans, 1846. Soft cover. Book Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First Editions, First Printings bound in the ORIGINAL blue/green wrappers SIGNED by Charles Dickens on a handwritten check laid into the first volume. A beautiful complete set in ten parts that were issued monthly. All the wrappers are ORIGINAL with NO missing pages. The colors on the spines match and have benefitted from some professional restoration. Overall, a wonderful set housed in a custom clamshell slipcase for preservation SIGNED by the author. We buy Charles Dickens First Editions. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-15214791011

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Sketches by "Boz," Illustrative of Every-day Life,: Dickens, Charles
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Item Description: John Macrone, London, 1837. Cruikshank, George (illustrator). Three small octavo volumes. viii, 348 pp.; (iv), 342pp.; viii, 377pp., + (19)pp. of advertisements. First edition, first issues in book form of Dickens's first work. Illustrated throughout with engravings by George Cruikshank, volumes I and II each with a frontispiece and seven subsequent illustrations, and the Second Series with frontispiece, engraved title-page, and eight subsequent illustrations. Volume I Preface dated February, 1836, and both volumes with all but one or two internal flaws as called for by Smith. Second Series is one of the few early copies without the list of illustrations, with thirteen rather than seventeen lines on the first page of the Contents; legible commas on the Free and Easy imprint; and with Vol. III unerased from the foot of each plate. According to Sadleir, these points "certainly seem to represent an earlier (and perhaps suppressed) issue of the book . . . the only possible explanation seems to be that [the publisher] and Dickens planned Sketches by Boz as a three-volume work, and that the plates were prepared for the third volume in uniform style with those of Volumes I and II. Possibly Dickens then insisted on adding more material than a normal third volume could accommodate, and a second series in one bulky volume was forced on the publisher." Eckel even more definitively states that the missing list of plates "prove[s] to be a mark of the first issue of the book." Although most of the sketches in this work were originally published as separate entries in various magazines and journals between 1833 and 1836, this edition does represent the first appearance of five of the sketches: "A Visit to Newgate," "The Black Veil," "The Great Winglebury Duel," "Our Next-Door Neighbours," and "The Drunkard's Death." The first two volumes are bound in publisher's olive green cloth, with a gilt cartouche and lettering on the spines. Corners lightly bumped, some minor spotting to cloth, else about fine. Second Series is bound in the rare original rose-colored cloth with blind-stamped wreath on the front cover and spine in four compartments, top compartment lettered in gilt within a decorative gilt frame. The gilding has been applied without black pigment, again indicating one of the early copies, as mentioned by Smith. Some bumping to corners, spine slightly sunned, and a few short closed tears in cloth at foot of spine. Nearly fine. Each volume in a green cloth chemise, the three volumes housed together in a quarter morocco slipcase lettered in gilt on the spine. This set came from the collection of William E. Self, former president of Twentieth Century Fox, and bears his bookplate. Both volumes also with the bookplates of noted collectors Winston Henry Hagen and E. Hubert Litchfield. A very nice set of a seminal work of modern Western literature, with excellent provenance. (Eckel, pp. 11-13; Sadleir I, 700; Smith 1, 2). Bookseller Inventory # 22180

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Item Description: English author (1812-1870), Dickens remains one of the most popular author's of the Victorian era. His body of work is truly impressive, with novels such as 'A Christmas Carol' (1843), 'David Copperfield' (1850) and 'Great Expectations' (1861) remaining enduringly popular. An autograph quotation signed by Dickens. He has chosen the final sentence of Chapter One of 'David Copperfield'. This novel is considered the most autobiographical of all Dickens's works and he referred to it as his "favourite child". G. K. Chesterton, the great literary critic, summarised the experience of reading it: "In this book of David Copperfield, [Dickens] has created creatures who cling to us and tyrannise over us, creatures whom we would not forget if we could, creatures whom we could not forget if we would, creatures who are more actual than the man who made them." One page (written on one side), Tavistock House letterhead, Monday TwentyFourth January 1859. Boldly signed at the close "Charles Dickens" with his usual extravagant paraph. Measures 181x114mm and is unframed. In very good condition, with expected mailing folds. The letter is accompanied by a note of provenance from Boston University confirming that this item has been deaccessioned from their archive. An extremely rare document from one of the world's greatest authors. In full: "No, I lay in my basket, and my mother lay in her bed; but Betsey Trotwood Copperfield was for ever in the land of dreams and shadows, the tremendous region whence I had lately travelled; and the light upon the window of our room shone out upon the earthly bourne of all such travellers, and the mound above the ashes and the dust that once was he, without whom I had never been". Bookseller Inventory # F101286

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Charles Dickens

Published by Chapman and Hall, London (1861)

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall, London, 1861. Hard Back. Book Condition: Very Good. A truly stunning first edition set. The first appearance of Great Expectations in book form. Originally it appeared it thirty-six weekly numbers of  'All the Year Round'. All first edition, first printings - no 'edition' mentioned on the title page. Limited to just 1000 copies of the true first issue. Beautifully bound by Riviere, in full polished calf. Gilt triple ruled borders to boards, red and green label bands to the spine. Five raised bands to the spine of each volume, with beautiful intricate gilt tooling to each section, gilt titles to the label band, and date to the bottom of each volume. Top edge gilt, fore edge and bottom edge untrimmed. Stunning elaborate gilt inner dentelles. Green endpapers, new prelims and last blank pages, otherwise entirely original. Just the slightest of rubbing to the spine edges otherwise in excellent condition, no fading at all to the spines so they present beautifully and sit very well together on the shelf. Original paper labels pasted in to an end page to each volume. Slight foxing otherwise contents in very good condition, free from any inscriptions. Pages nice and bright with no browning. Meet all reference points as stated in the Walter E. Smith bibliography, including 'recal' to pg84 Vol 1, 'their' for 'her' on pg162 of Vol 2, and 'skackled' for 'shackled' pg262 Vol 3. No publishers catalogue to the rear of volume three but Smith does state that 'some copies of the first five issues did not contain catalogues'. Vol 1 344pp. Vol 2 351pp. Vol 3 344pp. A beautiful first edition set of one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, a true collector's edition. Bookseller Inventory # 089380

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A Christmas Carol: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman and Hall, London (1843)

Used Hardcover First Edition Signed

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall, London, 1843. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing SIGNED by Dickens on a handwritten envelope laid into the book. This is the TRUE FIRST EDITION with the ORIGINAL green endpapers and ALL the First Issue points present. All four color plates are by Leech are vibrant in color. The 4 black and white illustrations by Linton are present. This First Issue also has most important point 'Stave I' on page 1 with the uncorrected text and the 1843 date printed on the title page. The title page is printed in blue and red ink. The front board has the perfect 'D' within 'Dickens' and a 14mm closest gap from left margin to left of wreath. This copy is bound in the ORIGINAL publisher's brown Cloth. The binding is tight with light wear to the spine. The pages are clean with NO writing, marks or bookplates in the book. A wonderful copy SIGNED by the author and housed in a custom clamshell slipcase. We buy SIGNED Dickens First Editions. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-12065287250

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DICKENS, Charles

Published by London Bradbury and Evans (1846)

Used Softcover First Edition

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From: Heritage Book Shop, ABAA (Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: London Bradbury and Evans, 1846. Exceptionally Rare in Parts Partially Un-Opened DICKENS, Charles. The Adventures of Oliver Twist: or, The Parish Boy’s Progress. . With Twenty-Four Illustrations on Steel, By George Cruikshank. A New Edition, Revised and Corrected. London: Published for the Author, by Bradbury and Evans, [January - October] 1846. First edition of the revised edition in ten monthly parts. Partially un-opened. Octavo. [i-v]vi-vii[viii-ix]x-xii, [1]2-311[312]. The twenty-four plates are those used for the original Bentley edition, re-touched, re-bitten, and "enhanced" by the engraver Findlay, and with the Bentley imprints erased. Cruikshank also designed the front wrapper for the parts issue, with very attractive, well-balanced, and appealing results The set at hand collates complete. Overall, in amazingly fresh and satisfying condition: wrappers bright and clean without edge fraying; text and plates clean; edges sharp; not at all tired or worn. Some minor paper restoration but overall, a fine copy of a true prize. ".[S]ets of the ten parts can, without exaggeration, be described as of the utmost rarity, whether in fine, moderate, or poor condition, and only exceeded by the 'high-spots' of Pickwick and the Sketches. As recently as 1931, it would have been an impossibility to purchase any kind of conditioned copy in the London book-market; for the simple reason that none were [sic] on offer or could be offered. The very scarcity alone, of the book in parts, gives added zest to the tracking down of copies, but many would-be owners are doomed to disappointment in their efforts to effect a capture, in face of the very limited supply available." Hatton and Cleaver, pp. 215-224. HBS 67346. $35,000. Bookseller Inventory # 67346

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Sumner & Stillman [ABAA] (Yarmouth, ME, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: 1843. [the first issue, FINE] In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. 2 pp undated ads. Original rose-brown cloth decorated in gilt. First Edition of Dickens's classic ghost story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Dickens wrote this in less than a month, motivated by financial need; he published it himself, with everyone else associated with the book working on a cost-plus basis. Though he wanted to produce a handsome gift volume (with colored plates, colored title page and all edges gilt), the expense of hand-colored plates cut considerably into his profits; as a result, this was his first and last book to include colored plates. The success of A CHRISTMAS CAROL (the first edition sold out on its publication day, 19 December 1843) put Dickens on a much firmer financial standing.~This is a copy of the first issue, with "Stave I" on p. [1] and with the text entirely uncorrected. It has the following additional issue points:~* title page in blue and red, dated 1843~* chalky green endpapers~ * 14-15mm between the gilt wreath and the left margin blind-stamping on the front cover~* a perfect "D" in "Dickens" in the front cover wreath~Bibliographers have disagreed over the years as to what if any significance these issue points may have, but according to the most recent exhaustive study (Todd's, analyzing the front cover), this copy is of the earliest state of the first issue. ~Except for a lengthy-but-discreet 1929 inscription on the front free endpaper, this copy is in FINE CONDITION: there is just one tiny droplet-mark on the front cover, and as usual the volume is slightly askew. Atypically, there is no wear at the spine ends, the endpapers are not cracked, and there are no repairs or "sophistication." The colored plates are clean and bright, and the textual leaves are entirely free of foxing.~Though the first edition of A CHRISTMAS CAROL is not a rare book, copies of the first issue in fine condition have become quite scarce -- as most copies coming onto the market are worn, or are faded, or have cracked endpapers, or have foxed leaves and darkened plates -- or all of the above; or, worse, have been re-cased, re-backed, or even re-bound. Not this copy. Smith II pp 16-29 (citing prior studies by Gimbel, by Calhoun & Heaney, and by Todd); Eckel pp 110-115. Housed in a felt-lined morocco-backed clamshell case. Bookseller Inventory # 12501

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Oliver Twist, in 10 monthly parts: DICKENS, Charles

DICKENS, Charles

Published by Bradbury & Evans, London (1846)

Used Hardcover First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Argosy Book Store, ABAA, ILAB (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Bradbury & Evans, London, 1846. hardcover. Book Condition: very good. First. 8vo, printed green wrapper, designed by George Cruikshank. 24 plates. London: Bradbury & Evans, January - October, 1846. Parts 3-9 are in fine condition. The front wrapper of Part 1 is slightly darkened, with a small chip at the lower spine; Part 2 is lacking the upper spine; In part 10, the margins of the front wrapper have been expertly restored, and the one leaf ad on yellow paper is not present. The "Oliver Twist Advertisers" in parts 1 & 2 are present as required, although one is bound in at front rather than the back. The 24 plates are all present, but not in the sequence described in Hatton & Cleaver. The set is preserved in a full green morocco slipcase with an elaborately gilt spine. This edition followed on previous publications; firstly as a serial in Bentley's Miscellany, Feb. 1837 - March, 1829. Before the close of the serial it came out in 3-volume form. The present issue, in parts, generally known as the first octavo edition, was always prized by collectors and consequently is the more valuable of the Oliver Twists. Eckels, page 62. "Complete sets can without exaggeration be described as of the utmost rarity, whether in fine, moderate or poor condition." Hatton & Cleaver, page 215. Bookseller Inventory # 256411

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Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman and Hall: London (1861)

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall: London, 1861. 3 vols. 8 x 5", violet embossed cloth, 344pp, 351pp; 344pp + 32pp publisher's catalogue, covers rubbed, extremities bumped and worn, spines sunned and cocked, hinges loose, vol. 1 eps spotted, contents a bit worn with some finger soiling, ink marks on ffep of vol. 2, vol. 2 rear fly creased else a nice set in a custom gilt-dec golden crushed morocco; cloth case by Bayntun-Riviere (though not stated as such- from a collection of Bayntun-Riviere signed bindings.) FIRST EDITIONS IN THE ORIGINAL CLOTH; volume 3 is a later state with the apostrophe on p. 173, and with period in heading on p. 238, BUT WITH ALL OTHER POINTS AS GIVEN IN THE WALTER E. SMITH BIBLIOGRAPHY INCLUDING THE MAY 1861 PUBLISHER'S CATALOGUE AT REAR OF VOLUME 3. Bookseller Inventory # 99-3819

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Christmas Books, comprising A CHRISTMAS CAROL; THE: Dickens Charles

Dickens Charles

Published by London Bradbury and Evans and Chapman and Hall 1843, '45, '46, '46, '48 (1843)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: London Bradbury and Evans and Chapman and Hall 1843, '45, '46, '46, '48, 1843. Together 5 volumes. First edition, first issue of A CHRISTMAS CAROL with the green endpapers, Stave I and all 39 points of uncorrected text; the first edition of THE CHIMES, with the second state of the vignette titlepage as usual; CRICKET is first edition with the second state of the advertisement leaf as is normally found; BATTLE being the first edition, fourth titlepage design as usual, and first edition of HAUNTED MAN. Numerous illustrations within the four volumes by John Leech, Clarkson Stanfield, John Tenniel, Richard Doyle, Edwin Landseer, Daniel Maclise and Frank Stone. CHRISTMAS CAROL includes the four hand-coloured plates etched by John Leech. Small 8vos, each book in the publisher's original cloth, that of the CHRISTMAS CAROL being the original reddish-brown vertically ribbed, with the closest interval between the left margin blind-stamping and left extremity of the wreath at 14 mm; a.e.g. And a perfect "D" within the wreath on the front panel. It collates perfectly with both Eckel and Todd; Smith, Part II, 4. The others being the original crimson cloth each decorated in gilt on the upper covers and the spines in motifs drawn from the stories. The five novels now all presented together in a very fine red morocco-backed slipcase lettered in gilt between tall raised bands. A sumptuous set, very handsomely preserved and presented. CAROL clean and tight and fine but for the lightest age mellowing, very skillfully strengthened at the inner hinge, CHIMES, CRICKET and BATTLE all fine copies, exceptionally clean and the HAUNTED MAN very near to fine. A BEAUTIFUL SET OF THE FIVE GREAT CHRISTMAS NOVELS PENNED BY CHARLES DICKENS ALL IN THE PUBLISHER'S ORIGINAL CLOTH. A CHRISTMAS CAROL IS ONE OF THE GREATEST BOOKS IN ALL OF LITERATURE. With its publication, Dickens' captured the popular imagination as no other novelist had done, he was held in in high critical esteem by contemporaries as varied as Queen Victoria and Dostoevsky. He called his extremely popular 'Christmas Carol' a "whimsical sort of masque intended to awaken loving and forbearing thoughts." The lasting appeal of this novel has proven it to be much more. It had been dramatized on the London stage within a month of its publication and has been made into no less then 17 motion pictures. John Leech illustrated Dickens’ classic "Christmas Carol" with four etched plates and several woodcuts within the text. The early impressions such as this one featured hand-colouring to the etched plates. In later editions, the plates were either not colored, not present, or the product of other illustrators. The plates from the early issues feature Leechs’ etched signature and the Chapman and Hall imprint. Leech was a favored illustrator of Dickens and would later produce art for all of Dickens' Christmas books and several other titles as well. THE CHIMES was Dickens’ second installment in the "Christmas Books" series and his labors in creating THE CHIMES were "very arduous" in order to make it a worthy successor to A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He wrote to one of his friends that he believed he had "written a tremendous book and knocked the ‘Carol’ out of the field. It will make a great uproar I have no doubt." THE CRICKET ON THE HEARTH was third in Dickens’ Christmas Book Series. The title grew out of Dickens’ idea to begin a weekly periodical named "The Cricket" with an added motto, "A cheerful creature that chirrups on the hearth." Dickens relinquished that idea to instead concentrate on the venture that resulted in the founding of the "The Daily News." The original periodical idea manifested itself in his "Household Words." 'THE CRICKET' was extremely popular when issued. Within one year there had been twenty two editions printed. THE BATTLE OF LIFE was the fourth installment in Dickens’ series of Christmas Books. Dickens managed to find the time to complete the manuscript while working on DOMBEY AND SON in Switzerland and in December of 1846 the book was released, selling 23,000 copies. Bookseller Inventory # 27003

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Item Description: Bradbury & Evans May -November 1850, 1849. FIRST EDITION IN THE ORIGINAL 20 MONTHLY PARTS (bound in 19 as issued), with the 38 plates by 'Phiz' bound 2 at the front of each part, frontispiece and dated vignette title-page in the final part with the other preliminary matter, advertisements as per Hatton and Cleaver (including the rare folding advertisement for Letts diaries, but without sample leaves), some plates lightly spotted or foxed, one advertisement in final part loose, one back advertisement in final Part loose, 8vo, original printed wrappers, spine of Part 1 repaired, small tear to the rear hinge of Part 19/20, tiny repairs to the fore-edges of Parts 2 and 3, preserved in a red cloth clamshell box with the Suzannet bookplate inside it and a modern bookplate above it (just covering the top of the earlier one), very good. One of the scarcest and most desirable of the parts issues. This is an exceptional set (reflecting its Suzannet provenance), largely unsophisticated, with the wrappers minimally soiled and of an even brightness and colour. (Hatton & Cleaver pp. 253-72). Bookseller Inventory # 55682

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Dickens, Charles

Published by Carey & Hart, Philadelphia (1844)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Stony Hill Books (Madison, WI, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Carey & Hart, Philadelphia, 1844. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. John Leech (illustrator). First Edition. FIRST AMERICAN EDITION. Bears the bookplate of James A. Stillman (1873-1944) chief executive of National City Bank of New York and a prominent book collector An exceptionally Fine copy with almost no wear; opposite the bookplate, on the ffep, there seems to be a faint impression of an earlier erased gift inscription, which is very faint. Original blind stamped and gilt decorated dark blue cloth covers, a rare example due to its exceptionally fine condition, minimal internal ageing, all plates pristine. Bookseller Inventory # 15805

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A Tale of Two Cities (in 8: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman and Hall, London (1859)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Quintessential Rare Books, LLC (Laguna Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall, London, 1859. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. First Editions, First Printings in the ORIGINAL 8 monthly parts in seven books. A spectacular copy of this complete set. These monthly parts are bound in the ORIGINAL blue wrappers with the First Issue text with p. 213 showing "113" and the List of Plates bearing signature "b." This set collates complete, with the often-seen substitution of the Morison "Monument" ad for the Morison "View" ad in Part III and with a substitution of the slip from Part I in Part V. De Jongh ad at the back of part V is a different issue. The Plates in the wrappers are lightly foxed with minor wear to the wrappers. Overall, a magnificent set seldom seen in the original parts especially in this condition. Includes a custom drop box bound to protect the parts. We buy Dickens in parts. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-12487726004

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Christmas Carol In Prose. Being a Ghost: DICKENS, Charles

DICKENS, Charles

Published by London Chapman & Hall (1844)

Used Hardcover First Edition

Quantity Available: 1

From: Heritage Book Shop, ABAA (Beverly Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: London Chapman & Hall, 1844. "Trial Issue," with the Title-Page Printed in Red and Green DICKENS, Charles. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1844. First edition, first issue, the very rare so-called "trial issue," with title-page printed in red and green and half-title in green; "Stave I;" text entirely uncorrected; yellow coated endpapers. (Very few copies were published with first issue points in 1844). Small octavo. [8], 166, [2, ads] pp. Four hand-colored steel-engraved plates by and after Leech and four wood-engraved text illustrations by W.J. Linton after Leech. Original cinnamon vertically-ribbed cloth. Outer hinge repaired. Covers decoratively stamped in blind, front cover and spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt, all edges gilt. Binding matches Todd’s first impression, first issue, with closest interval between blindstamped border and gilt wreath equal to 14 mm. and with the "D" in "Dickens" in perfect condition. Spine a little faded, previous owner's contemporary signatures on front free endpaper. Overall, a wonderful copy of this great rarity, exceptionally clean and bright. Housed in a half red morocco clamshell case. Although A Christmas Carol was published in Dec. of 1843, it is believed that Dickens wanted this to originally have an 1844 date to show that it was a new book for Christmas. Eckel calls this edition "the scarcest." Smith, Dickens, II, 4. Calhoun & Heaney, especially pp. 35, 48-49. Eckel, p. 118. HBS 67075. $30,000. Bookseller Inventory # 67075

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Oliver Twist, in 10 monthly parts: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Bradbury & Evans, London (1846)

Used Hardcover

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From: Quintessential Rare Books, LLC (Laguna Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Bradbury & Evans, London, 1846. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. First Editions, First Printings in the ORIGINAL 10 monthly parts with ALL the advertisement inserts present but with back wrapper parts 5, 9 and 10 differing from Hatton and Cleaver bibliography. This complete set has ALL the original publisher's covers present with NO missing text. The wrappers are in nice shape with some wear to the spines and edges. The pages are clean with minor wear. Overall, a lovely set housed in a red morocco-covered slipcase. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-16348492370

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The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The: Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Published by Chapman and Hall 1843-48, London (1843)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Raptis Rare Books, ABAA/ ILAB (Brattleboro, VT, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall 1843-48, London, 1843. First editions, first issues of all five of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books. Octavo, original cloth, 5 volumes. A Christmas Carol, in Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas is first state binding ("D" intact, 14mm margin), half-title printed in blue, title-page printed in red and blue, verso printed in blue, hand-colored etched frontispiece and three hand-colored etched plates by John Leech, four wood-engravings in-text by W.J. Linton after Leech, 2pp. publisher's advertisements at the end. First edition, second impression per Smith, first impression, first issue per Todd YB43c (yellow endpapers, blue and red title-page, 1843 date, Stave One, remainder of text unrevised per Todd, also all per Scott save p.21, ln. 22, see supplement Table I Scott), one of three combinations that per Todd do not recur in the later issue, order 2 per Todd (no priority, outer b1 inner a1), sewers' mark "12" and line to verso of ad leaf and recto rear endpaper, and with one of five points noted in VanderPoel (space between sentences p.127, ln. 22, is 4mm). Very light wear to the cloth, otherwise fine. The Chimes. A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year yellow endpapers, a.e.g., advertisement, half-title, engraved frontispiece and first state vignette title page. First edition, first issue, with internal flaws per Smith (save "h" p.166, some copies). In near fine condition. The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home yellow endpapers, a.e.g., half-title, frontispiece and vignette title page, first state ad leaf. First edition, first issue, with internal flaws (save p.iv and 79). Front inner hinge cracked; manuscript inscription to title page. The Battle of Life. A Love Story has yellow endpapers, a.e.g., half-title, advertisements, frontispiece and second state vignette title page [Todd C2, Eckel 2]. First edition, with four internal flaws per Smith. In near fine condition. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1848. 12mo, original red cloth, yellow endpapers, a.e.g., advertisements, frontispiece and vignette title page. First edition, with internal flaws noted per Smith (save pp.iv and 122, some copies). In near fine condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional set, uncommon in this condition. A Christmas Carol "may readily be called the Bible of Christmas It was issued about ten days before Christmas, 1843, and 6000 copies were sold on the first day the number of reprintings have been so many that all attempts at the figures have been futile. Altogether 24 editions were issued in the original format" (Eckel, 110). "It was a work written at the height of Dickens’ great powers, which would add to his considerable fame, bring a new work to the English language, increase the festivities at Christmastime, and contain his most eloquent protest at the condition of the poor" (John Mortimer). "Suddenly conceived and written within a few weeks, [A Christmas Carol] was the first of Dickens’ Christmas books (a new literary genre thus created incidentally) it was an extraordinary achievement—the one great Christmas myth of modern literature.". Bookseller Inventory # 4330

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The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman & Hall, London (April 1836-November 1837)

Used Original Wraps First Edition

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Item Description: Chapman & Hall, London (April 1836-November 1837). Original Wraps. First Edition. First edition in the original monthly parts; 20 parts in 19, original green wrappers. A NEAR PRIME COPY, lacking just 3 of the 11 points required in Eckel's bibliography "The First Editions of the Writings of Charles Dickens." These 11 points are repeated here, with comments: (1) All covers must bear the date 1836 - they do. (2) Parts I and II front wrap must carry the words "With Four Illustrations By Seymour" - they do not. (3) Part III front wrap must have the words "With Illustrations By R. W. Buss - it does not. (4) Part I must have four plates by Seymour, signed and not re-etched by "Phiz" it does. (5) Part II must have three plates by Seymour, signed - it does. (6) Part III must have two plates by Buss - it does. (7) Part IV has the two plates indistinctly signed "Nemo" and not "Phiz." - it does. (8) Parts II, III, X and XV must have the addresses by the author [all are present except in part II]. (9) Parts XVII, XVIII and XIX/XX must have addresses by the publisher - they do. (10) Plates in parts I to XII must have no captions, but do have page numbers; plates in parts XIII through XIX/XX must have neither captions, nor page numbers - they all conform. (11) The signboard on the vignette title page must read "Tony Veller" and the signature "Phiz Fecit" must surround the tablet at the bottom of frontispiece - they do. So the only points lacking here are the illustrator's names on the front wraps of parts I, II and III, and the Author's Address in part II; but for these, the present copy would be a Prime Copy. Additionally, this remarkable set has a plethora of ads, wrappers without repair and plates which are very good to fine. A complete description will be provided upon request. Housed in a classy black full leather solander (pull-off-top) slipcase. Provenance: from the (Thomas) Hatton & Cleaver collection. Armorial bookplate. Bookseller Inventory # 7656

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Charles Dickens’s Works [Edition des Bibliophiles]: DICKENS, Charles |

DICKENS, Charles | Kyd | Garnett, Richard |

Published by London: Merrill & Baker, 1900. (1900)

Used

Quantity Available: 1

From: David Brass Rare Books, Inc. (Calabasas, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: London: Merrill & Baker, 1900., 1900. Edition des Bibliophiles One of Only Twenty-Six CopiesDICKENS, Charles. Charles Dickens’s Works. Edited by Richard Garnett. Most Unusually and Elaborately Illustrated. London: Merrill & Baker, [1900].Edition des Bibliophiles. Limited to twenty-six lettered and registered copies (this copy being Letter "H," Printed for Sadie Belle Lufkin). Thirty-two octavo volumes (8 15/16 x 6 inches; 227 x 154 mm.). Elaborately illustrated with frontispieces and plates, including photogravures, etchings, photo-etchings, from the original illustrations by Frederick Barnard, Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"), George Cattermole, George Cruikshank, Dalziel, F.O.C. Darley, Luke Fildes, John Gilbert, Edwin Landseer, John Leech, Daniel Maclise, J. Mahoney, F.W. Pailthorpe, Robert Seymour, Stanfield, F. Stone, Marcus Stone, and others, including fifty original watercolor drawings ("Aquarelles") by "Kyd" (Joseph Clayton Clarke) of Dickens’s characters. Descriptive tissue guards.Contemporary blue crushed levant morocco. Covers decoratively tooled in gilt in a floral design within a gilt single fillet border, spines decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments with five raised bands, gilt-dotted board edges, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt within an outer border of a gilt-dotted rule and two gilt fillets, red calf doublures, red watered silk liners, top edge gilt, others uncut. Partially unopened. Although the spines are uniformly faded to green and a few leaves are poorly opened, this set is in a spectacular binding. Bookseller Inventory # 00566

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Dickens, Charles

Published by Richard Bentley, London (1838)

Used Hardcover First Edition Signed

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From: Quintessential Rare Books, LLC (Laguna Hills, CA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Richard Bentley, London, 1838. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing. This book has the First issue point with the 'Fireside' plate and the author credited as 'Boz' to the title page. This copy is SIGNED by Charles Dickens on a laid in envelope. An attractive copy with light wear to the spine and edges. The bindings in all three books are tight, bound in the ORIGINAL publisher's cloth. The pages are clean with light discoloration. There is NO writing, marks or bookplates in the book. Overall, a lovely copy of this (3) Volume First Edition SIGNED by the author. We buy Charles Dickens First Editions. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-11873974965

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A Christmas Carol: Dickens, Charles

Dickens, Charles

Published by Chapman and Hall, London (1843)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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Item Description: Chapman and Hall, London, 1843. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing. This is the TRUE FIRST EDITION with following First Issue points present "Four hand colored steel-engraved plates by John Leech" "Four black and white wood-engraved illustrations by W.J. Linton" "The title page in printed in blue and red" "dated 1843 on title page" "The front board has a perfect 'D' within 'Dickens' and a 14mm closest gap from left margin to left of wreath" with two pages of advertisement present on last page." A wonderful copy. The book is great shape. The binding is tight with NO cocking or leaning and the boards are crisp with minor wear. The pages are exceptionally clean with NO writing, marks or bookplates in the book. A sharp copy housed in a custom clamshell slipcase. Bookseller Inventory # ABE-13175143843

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SKETCHES BY "BOZ," [FIRST AND SECOND SERIES]: DICKENS, Charles]

DICKENS, Charles]

Published by John Macrone 1837 (1836)

Used Softcover

Quantity Available: 1

From: Jonkers Rare Books (Henley on Thames, OXON, United Kingdom)

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Item Description: John Macrone 1837, 1836. First editions. Three volumes. The first series in original dark green cloth with gilt titles on the spine, the second series in peach coloured cloth with dark brown painted title area lettered in gilt to the spine. Yellow coated end papers. The second series in Sadleir's earlier state, with the frontispiece bound in the text and 'Vol III' still present on each of the plates. The first series in fine condition, crisp and bright, with just a trace of wear to one corner at the base of the spine of volume I and to the very tips of the outer corners. Internally, exceptionally fresh and clean with no browning to text or plates and all hinges in perfect condition. The second series has been neatly rebacked, as often, preserving much of the original spine, but is otherwise clean and crisp and is also internally very fresh. Overall an exceptionally well preserved set of Dickens's rare first work. Housed in old quarter leather chemises and slipcases. Twenty-six steel engraved plates by George Cruikshank (sixteen in the first series and ten in the second). Dickens's career as a writer of fiction began in 1833, when as a political journalist, he wrote a series of 'sketches' or observations on society, under the pen name of Boz, to be published in The Monthly Magazine. In 1835, acquaintance and young publisher John Macrone approached Dickens with the idea of publishing his stories in book form, offering £100 for the copyright. As Dickens's income at the time was £382 a year, this was a princely sum, and he approached the project with some enthusiasm, rewriting a number of the previously published stories and adding some new ones, notably 'A Visit to Newgate' and 'The Black Veil'. A further feather in the caps of both author and publisher was securing the services of the much better known George Cruikshank to illustrate the book, which instigated a relationship that was to be mutually fruitful throughout much of Dickens's and Cruikshank's careers. Sketches by Boz was published in 1836, to glowing reviews, helped in no small way by Dickens's own literary and journalistic contacts, and sold smartly, so that a second edition was published within the year, followed by a third in the following year. The book was the catalyst to Dickens's meteoric rise to literary fame that would in due course lead to him being regarded as the foremost writer of the Victorian age. It is likely that 'Sketches' was originally conceived as a three volume work, but that Dickens wanted to include more material than would comfortably fit into a uniform third volume, so it was decided to issue two volumes followed by a separate 'second series' some ten months later. Exact publication numbers are not known, but Macrone was a small establishment, so it is unlikely that each edition consisted of more that a couple of thousand copies. Sadleir ranked them first and second in his list of comparative scarcities for Dickens in original cloth and nice copies are now very infrequently encountered. Smith 1&2; Sadleir 699. Bookseller Inventory # 32876

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Charles Dickens

Published by Dana Estes & Company, Boston (1846)

Used Hardcover

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From: Books and Boots (Newark, DE, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Dana Estes & Company, Boston, 1846. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. No Jacket. Illustrated Edition. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. Illustrated Sterling Edition. Green and gilt boards. Bookseller Inventory # 000001

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Charles Dickens

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From: The Raab Collection (Ardmore, PA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Charles Dickens signed autograph quotation of the death of his Little Nell, who became a cultural icon"She was dead. No sleep so beautiful and calm, so free from trace of pain, so fair to look upon. She seemed a creature fresh from the hand of God, and waiting for the breath of life; not one who had lived and suffered death." Charles Dickens's literary success began with the 1836 serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. In 1839 he added Oliver Twist, and his fame grew. The Old Curiosity Shop was his fourth novel, and Dickens first published it along with some short stories in his short-lived periodical, Master HumphreyÕs Clock, which lasted from 1840 to 1841. This fourth novel was so popular that New York readers stormed the wharf when the ship bearing the final installment arrived. The Old Curiosity Shop was printed in book form in 1841.In the preface to The Old Curiosity Shop Dickens wrote, ÒI had it always in my fancy to surround the lonely figure of the child with grotesque and wild, but not impossible companions, and to gather about her innocent face and pure intentions, associates as strange and uncongenial as the grim objects that are about her bed when her history is first foreshadowed.Ó He carried out his fancy in the work, which tells the story of Nell Trent, a beautiful and virtuous young girl of "not quite fourteen." An orphan, she lives with her maternal grandfather in his shop of odds and ends. Her only friend is Kit, an honest boy employed at the shop, whom she is teaching to write. Obsessed with ensuring that Nell does not die in poverty as her parents did, her grandfather attempts to provide Nell with a good inheritance through gambling at cards. He borrows heavily from the evil Daniel Quilp, a malicious, grotesque, and hunchbacked moneylender. In the end, he gambles away what little money they have, and Quilp seizes the opportunity to take possession of the shop and evict Nell and her grandfather. Convinced that the old man has stored up a large fortune for Nell, her older brother Frederick convinces the good-natured but easily led Dick Swiveller to help him track Nell down, so that Swiveller can marry Nell and share her supposed inheritance with Frederick. To this end, they join forces with Quilp and pursue the girl and her grandfather. Nell, having fallen in with a number of characters, some villainous and some kind, succeeds in leading her grandfather to safety in a far-off village, but this comes at a considerable cost to Nell's health.Kit, having lost his job at the curiosity shop, has found new employment with the kind Mr. and Mrs. Garland. Here he is contacted by a mysterious 'single gentleman' who is looking for news of Nell and her grandfather. The 'single gentleman' and Kit's mother go after them unsuccessfully, and encounter Quilp, who is also hunting for the runaways. Quilp forms a grudge against Kit and has him framed as a thief. Kit is sentenced to transportation. However, Dick Swiveller proves Kit's innocence, and Quilp is hunted down and dies trying to escape his pursuers. At the same time, a coincidence leads Mr. Garland to knowledge of Nell's whereabouts, and he, Kit, and the single gentleman (who turns out to be the younger brother of Nell's grandfather) go to find her. Sadly, by the time they arrive, Nell has died as a result of her arduous journey. Her grandfather, already mentally infirm, refuses to admit she is dead and sits every day by her grave waiting for her to come back until, a few months later, he dies himself.Dickens himself was traumatized by her death, saying he felt writing it as though he were experiencing the death of one of his children; he also wrote of it, ÒOld wounds bleed afresh when I think of this sad story.Ó It certainly brought back painful memories of the death of his sister-in-law, Mary Hogarth, and indeed that death played a key role in DickensÕs formulation of the character. Little Nell became a cultural symbol with a long-lasting impact. As author David Fru. Bookseller Inventory # 10869

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