Description[Charles Dickens]. The Library of Fiction, or Family Story-Teller; Consisting of Original Tales, Essays, and Sketches of Character. With Fourteen Illustrations. London: Chapman and Hall, 1836-1837.
First edition in book form (originally issued in fourteen monthly parts from April 1836-May 1837, with two additional parts issued in June and July 1837). Two octavo volumes (7.4375 x 4.75 inches; 189 x 120 mm.). [iii]-viii, 384; , 350 pages. Bound without the half-titles. Twenty-eight wood-engraved plates (including frontispieces, with tissue guards).
Bound by Root & Son (stamp-signed on the verso of the front free endpaper) in full dark green polished calf. Covers with gilt double fillet border enclosing gilt floral corner ornaments, spines decoratively panelled in gilt with five raised bands and three red morocco gilt lettering labels, board edges with gilt-dotted rule, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers. Spines faded to brown, corners and spine extremities lightly rubbed, joints tender. Occasional light foxing, primarily to the plates and adjoining text leaves. Bookplate of Nicholas Frederic Brady and additional shelf label on the front pastedown of each volume. Housed together in a brown cloth slipcase.
Volume I contains the two early pieces by Dickens, "The Tuggs's at Ramsgate" (pp. -18) and "A Little Talk about Spring, and the Sweeps" (pp. -119), both attributed to "Boz" and both issued before Dickens's first book.
"The popularity of 'The Library of Fiction' has been due to the publication in its pages of two very early efforts of Dickens as well as illustrations by Robert Seymour and R. W. Buss...'The Tuggses at Ramsgate' had two pictures by the first illustrator of 'Pickwick,' and 'A Little Talk About Spring and Sweeps' carried a plate by Seymour's short-termed successor in that famous book. Both sketches were signed 'Boz.' The first story was reprinted in the first octavo edition of 'Sketches By Boz,' (1839); the title of the second was shortened to 'The First of May' and became a part of the second series of the 'Sketches,' (1836.)" (Eckel). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.
Carr B545. Eckel, pp. 137-139. Gimbel E122.
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