First Edition, First IssueCharles Dickens. A Child's History of England in three volumes: Volume I. England from the Ancient Times, to the Death of King John. Volume II. England from the Reign of Henry the Third, to the Reign of Richard the Third. Volume III. England from the Reign of Henry the Seventh to the Revolution of 1688. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1852-1854.
First edition, first issue, with the correct dates on the title pages, the correct advertisements in each volume, and with all of the internal flaws listed by Smith (except for the few found "in some copies" or "in one copy" only), including no page number on p. xi in Volume I. Three small square octavo volumes. x, , [1, blank], 210, [1, advertisements], [1, blank]; viii, -214, [1, advertisements], [1, blank]; viii, -321, [1, blank], [1, advertisements], [1, blank] pages. Wood-engraved frontispiece in each volume, consisting of a centerpiece, printed in black, and a vignette in each corner, printed in a lighter grayish shade. The vignette illustrations in the corners are identical in each volume, while the centerpiece is different. Tipped in between the first and second front free endpapers is an 1864-dated check signed in full by Dickens.
Contemporary calf with triple rules stamped in gilt on the boards and titles and decoration stamped in gilt in six compartments between five raised bands on the spine. Gilt dentelles with gilt decoration to edges of boards. Joints worn with a bit of staining and fading to boards. Spine title label missing from Volume I and partially missing from remaining volumes. Marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Light scattered foxing. Dampstain at top of the preliminary pages of Volume II. Original cloth bound in the back of each volume.
"The germ of this book was in the mind of Dickens nearly ten years before the idea was perfected. In 1843 he wrote to Douglas Jerrold concerning it but no immediate result followed. In style, subject and composition it was different from anything he had attempted. For the first and only time he dictated his thoughts to a second person, Chapters II and IV only are in his manuscript, the balance being in the handwriting of Miss Georgina Hogarth, his wife's sister. Originally it appeared in Household Words at irregular times from January 25, 1851, to December 10, 1853, inclusive. As a serial it was in forty-five chapters, but in book form it was reduced to thirty-seven" (Eckel).
"Each volume of A Child's History of England was published separately in book form: the first volume on December 20, 1851; the second, December 25, 1852; and the third, December 24, 1853...Although the volumes were published in December, each was postdated the following year. After separate publication of the final volume, the work was offered complete in three volumes" (Smith II, p. 80, note 5).
Eckel, pp. 128-130. Gimbel A128. Smith II, 10.
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