First Edition in Book Form of Hard TimesCharles Dickens. Hard Times. For These Times. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1854.
First edition in book form. Octavo (7.5 x 4.9375 inches; 190 x 125 mm.). viii, 352 pages.
Original publisher's primary binding of olive horizontally-ribbed moiré cloth. Covers decoratively panelled in blind with a two-line outer border and an ornamental rectangular frame. Spine decoratively stamped in blind and ruled and lettered in gilt with "Price 5/-" in gilt at the foot. Original pale yellow coated endpapers. Embossed stamp of W. H. Smith & Son, 186 Strand, London, on front free endpaper. Spine and board edges faded to brown, corners lightly bumped with cloth just fraying, short split to front joint at upper edge, four tiny splits to cloth at head of spine and three tiny splits to cloth at foot of spine, hinges cracked, but sound. A few small areas of discoloration to cloth on covers, slight blistering to cloth on rear cover. Intermittent light foxing. A few corners creased, a few leaves poorly opened, resulting in a few short tears to upper blank margin, including half-inch tears to T1 and T2 (pp. 273/274 and 275/276). Early ink signature of Wm. Hanson at head of title. A very good copy. Housed in a red cloth slipcase and a three-quarter red hard-grain morocco gilt book-backed slipcase with spine in six compartments ruled in gilt with three red morocco gilt lettering labels.
Hard Times and Great Expectations are Dickens's only novels that were not illustrated in their original appearances in book form. Hard Times appeared originally in twenty numbers of Household Words from April 1, 1854 through August 12, 1854 (Nos. 210 to 229). It was published in book form on August 7, 1854 (just five days before serial completion). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.
Eckel, p. 131. Gimbel A136. Smith I, 11.
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