First American Edition of Bleak House in Book FormCharles Dickens. Bleak House. With Illustrations by H.K. Brown. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1853.
First American edition in book form. Twelvemo (7.375 x 4.875 inches; 187 x 124 mm.). [v]-xvi, 480; [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 (browned), and thirty-seven wood-engraved plates by the firm Lossing-Barritt after H. K. Browne ("Phiz").
Publisher's original blue morocco-grain cloth with covers decoratively panelled in blind and spines decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt with gilt rules at head and foot. Original yellow coated endpapers. Light wear to extremities, some slight discoloration to cloth. Volume II just slightly skewed, with slight blistering to cloth on front cover. Some light foxing. Volume I with a short tear to the upper gutter margin of the two plates bound between pp. 48 and 49, a tiny piece torn from the upper blank margin of N11 (pp. 309/310), a few scattered pencil markings. Volume II with a small faint dampstain in the lower blank margin of the preliminary leaves and leaves X1-Bb10 (pp. -572), a small piece torn from the lower blank margin of the final advertisement leaf. Early ink signature of Pierrepont on front free endpaper and at head of title of each volume, early ink signature of Wm. C. Pierrepont on front free endpaper of Volume I. An excellent copy.
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.
"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.
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