A Handsome and Complete Set of Dickens' Christmas BooksCharles Dickens. Christmas Books, Including: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman and Hall, 1843. First edition, first issue (i.e., "Stave I"), Todd first impression, first issue. Red and blue title-page, original green-coated endpapers (second state). Foolscap octavo. [i-viii], 2-166[-168] (blank). Eight illustrations by Leech, including the four hand-colored plates. [and:] Charles Dickens. The Chimes. A Goblin Story of Some Bells that Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In. London: Chapman and Hall, 1845 [i.e., December 1844]. First edition. Foolscap octavo. [i-viii], 2-175. First state engraved title and frontispiece by Daniel Maclise; intertextuals by Doyle, Leech, and Stanfield. [and:] Charles Dickens. The Cricket on the Hearth. A Fairy Tale of Home. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846 [i.e., December 1845]. First edition. Foolscap octavo. [i-viii], 2-174. Engraved title and frontispiece by Daniel Maclise. Twelve intertextual illustrations by various artists, chiefly John Leech. [and:] Charles Dickens. The Battle of Life. A Love Story. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846. First edition. Foolscap octavo. [i-viii], 2-175. Engraved title (fourth state, Todd E1, Eckel 4) and frontispiece by Maclise; intertextuals by Maclise, Doyle, Stanfield and Leech. [and:] Charles Dickens. The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848. First edition. Foolscap octavo. [i-viii], 2-188. Lithographic frontispiece and title, plus additional text illustrations by Leech, Stone, Stanfield and Tenniel. Together, five volumes. In the original cloth. Some chipping to the spine of A Christmas Carol, with a small bookseller's sticker and a slightly skewed spine. Bookplates. Still, a near fine set of these five charming books, housed together in a blue morocco box with folding cover.
The first edition of A Christmas Carol went on sale December 19, 1843 and by Christmas Eve every copy had sold out. Dickens had written a hugely popular work and, in so doing, created an instant classic. Within weeks of publication eight different stage adaptations of A Christmas Carol were playing in London theatres (Charles Dickens at 200, The Morgan Library & Museum, 2011). Smith II, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9.
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