First American Edition of Bleak House, in the Original Monthly PartsCharles Dickens. Bleak House. With Illustrations by H. K. Browne. In Two Volumes. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1852-1853.
First American edition, in the original monthly parts, twenty numbers in nineteen (April 1852-October 1853). Twelvemo (7.625 x 4.9375 inches; 194 x 126 mm.). [v]-xvi, [2, blank], [2, title for Volume II], 936 pages plus 6, 2 pages of advertisements. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dickens by T. Phillibrown after D. Maclise, with tissue guard, and thirty-six (of thirty-seven) wood-engraved plates by the firm Lossing-Barritt after H. K. Browne ("Phiz"). This copy is lacking the "Miss Jellby" plate in part No. 1.
Original buff paper wrappers printed in black. Stabbed and sewn, as issued. This set has two copies of part No. 12. Ten parts with slight dampstaining in the upper or lower margin. No. 6 with a few leaves poorly opened; No. 14 with a short tear to the outer margin of pp. 649/650 and 651/652; No. 17 with the lower corner eaten away and with the upper corner of pp. 805/806 and 807/808 torn away. Ink stamp of "Fetridge's Arcade Books & Stationery Times Building" on the front wrapper of Nos. 2 and 11. Pencilled initials on the inside front wrapper of No. 4. Housed in a black cloth clamshell case.
There are separate title-pages for Volumes I and II, but the chapter numbering and pagination are continuous, and there is only one table of contents and one list of illustrations for the entire work. The preliminaries, which are bound following the conclusion of the text in Nos. 19/20, are as follows: [v] title-page for Volume I; [vi] blank verso; [vii]-x preface; [xi]-xiv table of contents; [xv]-xvi list of illustrations; [2, blank]; [1, title-page for Volume II]; [1, blank verso].
"The publisher printed no wrappers for parts No. 12-No. 17; the wrappers printed for the earlier parts are used, with the appropriate numerals being inked on them by hand" (Gimbel). In this set, the wrappers from No. 11 are used for one copy of No. 12 and the wrappers from No. 2 are used for the other, the wrappers from No. 3 are used for No. 13, the wrappers from No. 4 are used for No. 14, the wrappers from No. 5 are used for No. 15, the wrappers for No. 10 are used for No. 16, and the wrappers for No. 9 are used for No. 17. In addition, "& 20" is added in ink on Nos. 19/20.
"Harper and Brothers paid Dickens £400 for advance sheets of the English edition and issued the novel in Harper's Magazine from April, 1852, to October, 1853, also publishing an edition in twenty monthly numbers" (The Grolier Club, Catalogue of an Exhibition of the Works of Charles Dickens, p. 129). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.
Carr B238. Gimbel A132.
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