First Edition of Bleak House in the Original Monthly Parts

    Charles Dickens. Bleak House. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1853 [i.e., March 1852-September 1853].

    First edition, in the original monthly parts, twenty numbers in nineteen. Octavo (8.875 x 5.5625 inches; 226 x 143 mm.). xvi, 54, 59-624 pages. This set is lacking leaves E4 and E5 (pp. 55/56 and 57/58) in No. II. Forty etched plates by H. K. Browne ("Phiz"), including frontispiece and added vignette title. Some plates with the original tissue guards.

    This set has most of the eighty-two advertisements and slips called for by Hatton and Cleaver, including the apology slip to follow the plate in No. IX ("An accident having happened to the Plate, it has been necessary to cancel one of the Illustrations to the present Number. It will be supplied in the next monthly Part") and the scarce "The Village Pastor" booklet (8 pp.) in No. XV. The "Bleak House Advertiser" is present and correct in each part except No. I, which lacks pages 1-2.

    In addition, the following ads are lacking: No. I lacks the "W. Mott" (2 pp.) and "Norton's Camomile Pills" (4 pp.) ads at back; No. II lacks the "Household Words" slip to follow the plates; No. IV lacks the "Waterlow & Sons" (4 pp.) ads and the Marsland, Son, & Co.'s "Crochet Cotton" slip at back; No. VIII lacks the "Crochet Cotton" slip at back; No. X lacks the "New Sporting Newspaper" ad (one leaf, verso blank) at back; No. XII lacks the "Partridge and Cozens" (4 pp.) ads, the "Waterlow & Sons" (2 pp.) ads, and the "Crochet Cotton" slip at back; No. XIV lacks the "Household Words" slip to follow the plates, and "Ali Ahmed's Treasures of the Desert" (8 pp.), "New Geographical and Educational Works" (2 pp.), and the "Crotchet Cotton" slip at back, but has two copies of the "Waterlow & Sons" (2 pp.) ads; No. XV lacks the "Household Words" slip to follow the plates; and No. XVI lacks "Grace Aguilar's Works" (8 pp.) at back. No. I has Variant C of the "Waterlow & Sons" inset. In No. III the "Crotchet Cotton" (with 5-line heading, with "page 285, Nov. 22nd, 1851") slip is bound before the "Waterlow & Sons" inset.

    In the original blue pictorial wrappers with advertisements on the inside front and inside and outside back wrappers. The set shows some soiling and wear, but no repairs. Part Nos. XIX/XX is coming apart, but is complete, except for the back wrapper, with has been supplied from a part No. XII. The back wrappers of several parts are detached, the front wrapper of No. VI has a small hole, affecting four letters on the recto and two letters on the verso, and a small hole in the lower blank corner, the front wrapper of No. XIV has a small hole in the lower blank margin. A few text leaves have been poorly opened. The plates are browned and foxed at the edges, and there is some offsetting, especially from the "Dark" plates, a few plates have marginal dampstaining and a few have short tears. Several front wrappers have early ink or pencil signatures, No. V has an early ink signature at head of title. A very good set. Chemised in a full dark brown morocco pull-off case lettered in gilt on the spine.

    "The explanation of the accident to Plate No. 17, to face page 261, 'Visitors to the Shooting Gallery,' is, that 'Phiz' made a mistake by introducing Grandmother Smallweed into the etching, instead of the fair 'Judy.' In consequence it was canceled, and never published" (Hatton and Cleaver).

    Eckel, pp. 79-81. Gimbel A130. Hatton and Cleaver, pp. 275-304.

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