First Edition of Great ExpectationsCharles Dickens. Great Expectations. London: Chapman and Hall, 1861. First edition. Three octavo volumes. Profusely illustrated with engraved plates, all examples of which are re-mounted to inserted paper backings in this copy. Contemporary green crushed morocco by Riviere and Son, with gilt spine titles and elaborate gilt stamping to the spine. Housed together in a custom slipcase. Moderate wear to the bindings. Hinges and joints repaired or strengthened. Two bookplates to the front endpapers of each volume. The text is largely clean and bright, with only minimum scattered foxing. A handsome set in good condition.
More Information: " originally appeared in thirty-six weekly numbers of from 1 December 1860 through 3 August 1861. It appeared in the three-volume book form on July 6, 1861...This first edition was followed by four other so-called editions (actually issues) on August 5, August 17, September 21, and October 30. These first five were probably printed at a single impression and published with altered title pages to imply and encourage a rapid sale. (The words announcing the 'edition' are printed between the volume number and the imprint.) In all five issues, the same misprints persist. The genuine second edition was the one-volume 'Library Edition' with Chapman and Hall published in 1862" (Smith, pp. 103-104, note 3).
"The rarity of the first issue of has been attributed to the probable small binding-up of copies with the first title page, coupled with the fact (according to C. P. Johnson, p. 33, and others later) that 'the first edition was almost entirely taken up by the libraries.' Patten, pp. 290-92, states that 1,000 copies of the first issue and 750 of the second were printed and that probably most of the first and more than half of the second (1,400) copies in all) were purchased by Mudie's Select Library" (Smith I, p. 104, note 5).
Eckel, pp. 91-93. Gimbel A146. Sadleir 688. Smith I, 14.
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