Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    First Edition of Edwin Drood in the Original Cloth

    Charles Dickens. The Mystery of Edwin Drood. With Twelve Illustrations by S. L. Fildes, and a Portrait. London: Chapman and Hall, 1870.

    First edition. Bound from the parts, with stab-holes visible. Octavo (8.625 x 5.625 inches; 219 x 142 mm.). vii, [1, list of illustrations], 190, [2, advertisements] pages plus the first issue 32-page publisher's catalogue, dated Aug. 31, 1870. Frontispiece portrait of Dickens ("Engraved by J.H. Baker, from a Photograph taken in 1868, by Mason & Co."), steel-engraved vignette title by J. Brown, and twelve wood-engraved plates, two by the Dalziel Brothers and ten by Charles Roberts, all after Samuel Luke Fildes.

    Publisher's primary binding (Carter A) of deep yellowish green fine bead-grain cloth. Front cover decoratively stamped in black and gilt and lettered in gilt within an outer sawtooth border surrounding a thin double line border. Back cover decoratively stamped in black with a centered shield which contains a design of flowers and leaves within a thin triple line and thick single line border. Spine decoratively stamped in black and gilt and lettered in gilt. All edges sprinkled dull red. Original pale greenish yellow coated endpapers. Just slightly skewed, some wear to corners and spine extremities. Some light foxing. Leaf [A]4 (pp. vii/[viii] list of illustrations) detached. Embossed stamp of W. H. Smith & Son, Strand, London, on front free endpaper. A very good copy.

    "Dickens began writing his last and unfinished story in August, 1869. It was his purpose to have much of the novel written before publication began. He found writing to be hard work, though there are few of his stories which are superior in the matter of composition...The solution of the plot was never disclosed and this stamps 'Drood' as one of the best unfinished mystery stories in literature. An approximate approach to any sort of a conclusion rested in the pictorial designs of the green wrapper, yet they rather added to the confusion. An endless number of solutions, so called, were published, without clearing the situation. After Dickens had written six parts, one-half of which having been published, he died June 9, 1870" (Eckel).

    "The Mystery of Edwin Drood appeared originally in six monthly parts from April-September 1870. It was published in book form on August 31, 1870" (Smith I, p. 117, note 6). From the H. Barry Morris Collection.

    Carter, Binding Variants, pp. 108-109 (describing the cloth as fine-diaper rather than bead-grain). Eckel, pp. 96-98. Gimbel A155. Sadleir 694. Smith I, 16.

    View all of [The H. Barry Morris Collection of Charles Dickens' First Editions ]

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 697

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 43 days left to consign to the 2018 October 25 Manuscripts - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The pre and post sales experience was wonderful and flawless. Heritage has the best in-house operation I have ever seen and their people are not only professional but fun to work with, especially Steve C.

    As for Heritage's online system… Yes the interface is more complex than what we are used to with SAN but what is behind that interface is amazing for sellers and buyers alike. It is real time and for a real serious auction buyer there is nothing better in the auction industry, bar none.
    Ron Cipolla,
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $615,551