Charles Dickens. Bleak House. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1852-1853. First edition, complete in the original parts (twenty parts bound in nineteen issues). Octavo. xvi, 624 pages; illustrated by "Phiz," aka H. K. Browne. Publisher's light blue printed paper wrappers. Lacking several ads, however, the Village Pastor slip in part XV is present; ad collation listed online. Wrappers lightly rubbed and soiled with some edgewear and short tears to wrappers. Text blocks slightly cockled, handful of plates lightly foxed, occasional foxing and thumb soiling on text edges and outer margins. A very good collection of the original serial run with bright, clean text. Housed in a chemise and slipcase, chemise has bookplate of B. George Ulizio. Very good.

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    Part I lacks W. Mott and Norton's Chamomile Pills ads; part III lacking "Crochet Cotton" slip; part IV lacks "Household Words" slip; part VI lacking "Household Words" slip and "New Serial by Charles Lever" and "Crochet Cotton" slip; part VII lacking front advertisement pp. 2-10 and rear advertisements; part X lacking "New Sporting Newspaper. | The Field." ad; part XI lacking household words slip and "Handley Cross" slip and "New Sporting Newspaper. | The Field." slip; part XIII lacks slip "Grace Aguilar's Works"; part XIV lacks Household Words slip and "New Geographical and Educational Works"; part XVI lacking slip "Grace Aguilar's Works." However, the Village Pastor slip in part XV is present.

    Forty designs were etched by "Phiz." "Of this number, ten are known as 'The Dark Plates' and two distinct etchings of each were executed by the Artist, making a total of 50 steels for the book. Many, if not all, of the other thirty designs were also reproduced by lithographic transfers from the steels, and are to be found mixed indiscriminately with etchings...The first dark plate to be published, marking a departure from the ordinary method of etching, was Dombey No. 35, and the second was Copperfield No. 31. They were followed by the above-mentioned ten in 'Bleak House,' and subsequently by eight more in 'Little Dorrit.' These dark etchings were the result of 'machine-tinting' the steels, which gave an effect equivalent to that of 'mezzo-tinting.' The steel was first closely ruled with fine lines, and the design was then etched over the ruling. After that, by a further process of 'stopping out' and 'burnishing,' the effect of light and shadow was heightened. In the case of 'Bleak House,' as with previous books, there was no priority in issue of the ten duplicated plates" (Hatton and Cleaver, page 276).

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