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    First Issue of Dickens' Christmas Classic with a Gift Inscription from A. Edward Newton

    Charles Dickens. A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843.

    First edition, first issue, with the text uncorrected, "Stave I" as the first chapter heading, red and blue title page dated 1843, blue half-title, and green endpapers. Small octavo. [8], 166, [4, advertisements, with a leaf of ads tipped in after page 166 featuring the Royal Hotel and Family Boarding House of Hayling Island] pages. Four hand-colored steel-engraved plates (frontispiece and plates facing pages 25, 78, and 150) by and after John Leech, and four wood-engraved text illustrations (on pages 37, 73, 119, and 164) by W. J. Linton after John Leech.

    Publisher's vertically-ribbed cinnamon cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind with a single-line border enclosing a decorative border of holly and ivy; front cover decoratively lettered in gilt within a gilt wreath of holly leaves. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. All edges gilt. Original green coated endpapers. The binding matches Todd's first impression, first issue, with the closest interval between the blind-stamped left border and the left extremity of the gilt wreath measuring 15 mm. and with the upper serif of the "D" in "Dickens" within the wreath unbroken.

    Cloth noticeably abraded and discolored in some areas. Top third of the front cover somewhat faded and rubbed. Shelf-cocked spine darkened and heavily bumped, especially at the head, with some loss of cloth. Cloth along the rear joint separated approximately four-and-one-half inches, but holding. A few small dark stains to the boards. Corners bumped and lightly frayed. Hinges starting. Front hinge tender. Occasional minor foxing, mostly around the plates, which are somewhat toned. Two plates with tissue guards pasted in along the gutter. Plate at page 150 has offset to the facing page. Overall, a well-loved but handsome copy of a rare first printing of Dickens' Christmas classic in very good condition.

    Famed bibliophile A. Edward Newton's wonderful gift inscription on the front free endpaper reads: "This is a first edition of a very famous little book. It should be kept very carefully. Given to my little cousin Boby on Christmas Day 1938. A Edward Newton." Newton's bookplate and Dickens' centennial stamp affixed to the front pastedown, and with pencil notations on the verso of the rear free endpaper reading "1st edition of all / All genuine first issues," presumably in Newton's hand.

    Eckel, pp. 110-115. Gimbel A79. Smith II, 4.

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    Auction Dates
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