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    John Forster's Life of Charles Dickens in a Handsome Full Morocco Binding

    [Charles Dickens]. John Forster. The Life of Charles Dickens. London: Chapman and Hall, 1872-1874.

    First edition. Three octavo volumes (7.9375 x 5.125 inches; 202 x 130 mm.). xviii, [1, list of illustrations], [1, blank], 398, [6, advertisements]; xx, 462, [2, advertisements]; xv, [1, blank], 552 pages. Seven engraved plates (including frontispiece portraits) and numerous wood-engraved text illustrations and facsimiles.

    In a handsome twentieth-century binding of reddish brown niger morocco. Covers decoratively panelled in gilt and blind, spines in six compartments with five raised bands, ruled and lettered in gilt and decoratively tooled in gilt and blind, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt. Each volume with the original cloth covers and spine bound in at end. Unfortunately, there is some slight dampstaining and discoloration to the binding of each volume, the dampstaining extending onto the edges and into the text, mostly visible on the plates. Free endpapers browned at the edges from turn-in glue.

    Historian and biographer John Forster (1812-1876) "was the literary associate and close friend of Leigh Hunt, C. Lamb, W.S. Landor, Bulwer-Lytton, and Dickens: from 1837 on he read in MS or proof everything Dickens wrote...His popular literary biographies include Life and Adventures of Oliver Goldsmith [1848], Landor [1869], Dickens [1872-1874], and the first volume of a scholarly life of Swift [1875]. He is recognized as the first professional biographer of 19th-cent. England. His business acumen plus activities as a man of letters made his assistance valued by many. Landor, Dickens, and Carlyle appointed him their literary executor" (The Oxford Companion to English Literature).

    "Not only by far the most important book Forster wrote, this is also a document of the greatest significance for anyone seeking to understand Dickens. Forster was unique in having known Dickens from the start to the end of his career and in having had access to his friend's recollections of his childhood and youth. But Forster was as important, if not more so, as a sounding board for ideas about the novels: he was virtually the only person with whom Dickens felt able to discuss the conception and progress of his work, and apart from the monthly number-plans, it is only in the letters to Forster that we can see evidence of planning and self-conscious artistry" (Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens, p. 240). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.

    See Gimbel H187 and D80.

    View all of [The H. Barry Morris Collection of Charles Dickens' First Editions ]

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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