With First Issue Title Page and Second Issue "Church" PlateCharles Dickens. Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz." In Three Volumes. London: Richard Bentley, 1838.
First edition, mixed issue, with the first issue title page but second issue "Church" plate (the final plate in Volume III shows the "church" scene). Three octavo volumes. [iv], 331, [1, blank] pages (no ads); [iv], 307, [1, blank] pages; [ii, no ads], 315, [1, blank] pages. Twenty-four etched plates by George Cruikshank.
Sumptuous three-quarter dark brown leather over light brown buckram boards with five raised spine bands and decorative titles and stamping inside compartments. Top edges gilt. Marbled endpapers. Moderate wear to the bindings, with mild abrading along the joints, raised bands, and bottom edges. Slight puckering of the buckram in a few places. Three unobtrusive ownership signatures or stamp in all volumes, one on the top right of each title page. Minor scattered foxing, mostly to the prelims and terminal pages. With a handful of exceptions, where there is mild foxing, the plates are very clean. The second plate in volume two faces page 56. A wonderful copy in very good condition.
"When Bentley decided to publish Oliver in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank had to complete the last few plates in haste. Dickens did not review them until the eve of publication and objected to the Fireside plate ['Rose Maylie and Oliver,' facing p. 313 in Volume III] which depicted Oliver at Rose Maylie's knee with Harry and old Mrs. Maylie all gathered around the living-room fire. Dickens had Cruikshank design a new plate which retained the same title and showed Rose and Oliver standing before the tablet put up in the church to the memory of Oliver's mother. This Church plate was not completed in time for incorporation into the early copies of the book, but it replaced the Fireside plate in later copies and was used in Bentley's Miscellany...Dickens not only objected to the Fireside plate, but also disliked having 'Boz' on the title page. He voiced these objections prior to publication and the plate and title page were changed between November 9 and 16" (Smith I, p. 35, note 3). From the Victor Gulotta Collection.
Eckel, pp. 59-63. Gimbel A28. Smith I, 4.
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