Description

    First Edition of "The Battle of Life," with the Second State Vignette Title

    Charles Dickens. The Battle of Life. A Love Story. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846.

    First edition of the Dickens's fourth Christmas book, second state of the vignette title (Todd C2, Eckel 2), with "A Love Story" etched in viny letters on a scroll that is part of the plate not carried by a cupid, above the three-line publisher's imprint, but with the letter "D" in "BRADBURY" broken. Small octavo (6.5 x 4.125 inches; 165 x 104 mm.). [8], 175, [1, printer's imprint], [2, advertisements] pages. Wood-engraved frontispiece and added vignette title by John Thompson after Daniel Maclise and eleven wood-engraved text illustrations by G. and E. Dalziel, Thomas Williams, and W.T. Green, after Richard Doyle, Clarkson Stanfield, Daniel Maclise, and John Leech.

    Original publisher's deep red horizontally-ribbed cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind with two double-line borders interspersed with twelve floral designs, front cover lettered in gilt and decoratively stamped in gilt with two cherubs about to battle while mounted on wasps above a decorative spray, spine lettered in gilt within an oval garland of leaves and flowers with a cherub on a wasp at top and bottom. All edges gilt. Original pale yellow coated endpapers. Original brown silk ribbon marker between pages [52] and [53], with slight offsetting onto the adjacent leaves. Corners lightly rubbed, with the board just exposed on the lower corner of the rear cover; spine ends rubbed, with a tiny split to the cloth at the head of the spine and a few tiny splits at the foot of the spine; lower edge of the rear board slightly bumped near the foot of the spine. Some scattered small areas of slight discoloration to the cloth and a small dark stain on the front cover; the gilt on the spine is just slightly dulled, but the gilt on the front cover is fresh and bright. Slightly over-opened between the title leaf and dedication leaf. A very good copy. Housed in a light brown cloth clamshell case by Rivière & Son.

    "The Battle of Life was published on December 19, 1846" (Smith II, p. 65, note 3). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.

    Eckel, pp. 121-123. Gimbel A116. Sadleir 681. Smith II, 8. William B. Todd, "Dickens's Battle of Life: Round Six," The Book Collector, XV (Spring 1966), pp. 48-54.


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    June, 2008
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