Description

    [Charles Dickens]. Sketches by Boz Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People. London: Chapman and Hall, 1839. First one-volume book edition. Octavo. viii, 248, 241-526 pages.

    More Information:

    First one-volume book edition. Octavo (8.6875 x 5.5625 inches; 221 x 142 mm.). viii, 248, 241-526, [2, blank] pages. This copy has pages 241-248 in duplicate, the first group of eight pages unsigned, the second group signed as gathering Y. Forty etched plates by George Cruikshank, including frontispiece and added vignette title.

     

    Publisher's original grayish violet (brown) vertically-ribbed cloth with covers decoratively panelled in blind and spine panelled in blind and lettered in gilt. Original pale yellow coated endpapers. Spine faded, cloth strengthened at head and foot of spine, corners rubbed, some slight discoloration to cloth on covers. Hinges cracked, but still strong. Early ink signature (crossed out) and pencil signature, dated "Nov. 24 1881," on front pastedown. Housed in a half green hard-grain morocco over green cloth book-backed pull-off case with spine lettered in gilt with five raised bands.

     

    "A total of forty plates were drawn and etched by George Cruikshank for this octavo edition, of which twenty-seven are the original designs as they appeared in the First and Second Series of the Sketches published in volume form 1836-7; these, however, were enlarged in size to match an additional thirteen etchings" (Hatton and Cleaver, p. 105).

     

    "The first complete edition of the two series in one volume was made up of unsold monthly parts" (Carr).

     

    This copy show marks of early issue: p. 18: '8' in pagination set lower than '1'

    p. 83: figures in pagination set level in bold, black type

    p. 515: numbered at top center

    p. 526: at foot of page: 'Whiting, Beauford House, Strand'

    Plates 11-40: with imprint: 'London: Chapman & Hall, 186, Strand'

     

    "This issue in one volume may not derive from a new impression of the edition. Not only do the gatherings follow the structure of the serial issue, but the copy shows all the minor errors of typesetting as in the preceding impression" (Gimbel).

     

    The later issue or impression: "The title-page is reset, with two changes in the text: a comma is placed at the end of the fourth line after 'Illustrations,' and the publisher's address in the ninth line is changed to '193, Piccadilly.' No printer's imprint appears on the verso of the title-page leaf. Many of the textual gatherings may derive from the impressions for the serial issue, but there are a few typographical differences: the commas at the end of the seventh, eighth and eleventh lines on page 429 are no longer raised, and page [515] is not numbered in this impression" (Gimbel).

     

    "Very few points of a distinctive character are to be detected with facility, as between the issue in monthly parts and the reprinted volume edition. On completion of the periodical run, remainders were collected and bound up in cloth; these represent the first edition in book form. The standing type, however, was stereotyped, and used for reprinting further issues of the 1839 octavo volume. It is between this later volume and the original parts that great differences in page measurements may be discerned, thus enabling us to determine the earliest printing when compared with the later impressions. This is a particularly important point, and must be seriously regarded, because copies have been seen containing late issue text, stitched in between the wrappers of an early issue. Typographically the production in the monthly parts was quite good, but it is curious to find such a lack of uniformity in the fount of type used for the pagination. The figure ''7' is frequently out of all character with the combining page numbers, and they appear to have been composed with an entire indifference to good appearance of the printed page" (Hatton and Cleaver).

     

    Carr B7. Gimbel A7.


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