First Edition of one of Dickens's masterpiece, illustrated by H. K. Browne, in the original cloth. Thick 8vo: xvi, 624pp, with frontispiece, title-page vignette, and 38 full-page plates (10 of which are "dark plates," each etched in duplicate; in our copy, six are from plate A and four from plate B. (Only two dark plates had been issued previously: No. 35 of Dombey and No. 31 of David Copperfield.) Publisher's olive-green fine-diaper cloth, Smith's secondary binding with chain design in blind within triple-ruled borders in blind on covers, identical to that of Dombey & Son; spine in five blind-paneled compartments, the second and fourth lettered in gilt; pale yellow coated end papers. Shows all three typographical errors typically associated with the first edition: p. 19, line 6: "elgble"; p. 209, line 23: "chair" instead of "hair"; and p. 275, line 22: "counsinship" instead of "cousinship"; as well as 34 of Smith's 37 other internal flaws, missing only three in the preliminaries. A bright, clean copy with almost no foxing or browning and only traces of offsetting on pages facing plates (dark plates are superb impressions), quite exceptional for this title. Expertly rebacked with original spine laid down; spine sunned, but gilt unadulterated. Haycraft-Queen cornerstone. Smith 10. Eckel, pp. 79-81 ("The value of a copy would depend largely ion whether the impressions [of the "Dark Plates"] are good or bad. The better the impression the greater the surety of an earlier plate and printing."). Podeschi 131. Grolier Dickens, pp. 128-29. Sadleir I 682. NCBEL III 800. Wolff II 1795a. Originally appeared in 20 numbers, bound in 19 monthly parts, the last forming a double number. First edition in book form published September 12, 1853. Dickens's ninth novel and one of his finest, often considered the first true detective novel, Bleak House revolves around the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce and its almost infinitely slow progress through the Court of Chancery, finally ending in the terrible farce of the considerable estate in dispute being swallowed up in lawyers's fees. "In a recent critical assessment (Dickens Redressed: The Art of Bleak House and Hard Times), Alexander Welsh refers to Bleak House as being 'an impressive work of montage, which ought by now to have earned Dickens the reputation of composing in 1852-53 a distinctly modernist text'. This is part of a fairly recent shift in the interpretation of Dickens's work which sees it anticipating the novels of Joyce, Faulkner, Conrad and other major figures in literary modernism. . . . [W]hat Welsh has particularly in mind is the double narrative structure of Bleak House in which the telling of the story is divided between two narrators, one the eighteen year old Esther Summerson, the other an impersonal third-person voice. . . . A number of mysteries are unravelled in the novel, that of Esther's parentage for example, but others remain, above all the mystery of how the social ills recorded in Bleak House are ever to be dealt with. It seems more than appropriate, then, that this maze-like fictional world should be embodied in a form which is itself labyrinthine." (Literary Encyclopedia) N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Bleak House [Original Cloth]
Publisher: Bradbury & Evans
Publication Date: 1853
Binding: Decorative Cloth
Book Condition: Near Fine+
Edition: First Edition.
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