First Issue in the Original ClothCharles 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 imprint, and light green endpapers. , 166, [2, advertisements] 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.
Original publisher's reddish brown vertically-ribbed 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 hand-colored green endpapers. The binding with the closest interval between the blindstamped left border and the left extremity of the gilt wreath measuring 14 millimeters and with the upper serif of the "D" in "Dickens" within the wreath unbroken.
Binding rubbed and soiled, spine ends renewed, small cloth repair to middle of spine just beneath the gilt decorations, spine tilted forward, corners and spine ends bumped, lower edge of rear board bent. Cracked hinges. Green of endpapers unevenly faded. Previous owner's name in ink on front pastedown "M.L. Wood". Contemporary ink gift inscription on half-title page. Foxing, some soiling, edge wear with a few corner bends. Color plate of "Scrooge's Third Visitor" (facing page 78) has an approximately one inch horizontal tear, partially repaired, in the outer margin which extends into the background of the image area. Pages over-opened at head between 32 and 33 (at D signature); and 96 and 97 (H signature), corner bends across text of C3 and D1. One-and-a-quarter inch repaired rounded tear in the lower margin of I1 extending into the last line of text on each side, heavier soiling on pages 76 and 77. Good.
Lee Biondi. "Charles Dickens: Strategies of Collecting." Firsts (September 1997 issue, Pages 30-31).
Walter E. Smith. Charles Dickens in the Original Cloth, Part II. (pages 19-29).
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