First Edition with Second State VignetteCharles Dickens. The Battle of Life. A Love Story. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846.
First edition of Dickens' 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. , 175, [1, printer's imprint], [2, advertisements] pages. Wood-engraved frontispiece and added vignette title; eleven wood-engraved text illustrations.
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. No silk ribbon marker present.
Boards lightly soiled, with some black ink staining on the rear board. Spine lightly sunned and cocked. Moderate wear to the spine ends. Corners rubbed and bumped. Binding a bit tender, with the rear hinge starting. Over-opened after the title page. Minimal scattered foxing and thumbsoiling. A handful of pages with creased corners. A very good copy.
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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