First Edition, in the Original Monthly PartsCharles Dickens. Our Mutual Friend. With Illustrations by Marcus Stone. In Two Volumes. Vol. I. [II.] London: Chapman and Hall, 1865.
First edition, in the original twenty numbers bound in nineteen monthly parts (May 1864-November 1865). Two octavo volumes (8.75 x 5.5 inches; 222 x 140 mm.). xi, [1, blank], 320; vii, [1, "Illustrations to Volume II"], 309, [1, printer's imprint], [1, "Mr. Charles Dickens's Works"], [1, blank] pages. Forty wood-engraved plates, including frontispiece and added vignette title, by Dalziel and W. T. Green after Marcus Stone. Most plates have the original tissue guards, which are mostly browned and/or foxed.
This set collates near complete, according to Hatton and Cleaver, lacking only the scarce "The Economic Life Assurance Society" (4 pages) to follow the plates in Part XIV and the "All the Year Round" slip on yellow paper to follow the plates in Part XVIII. In addition, in Part III, a portion of pages 7/8 of the "Advertiser" has been cut out (removing the second ad on page 7); and in Part XVIII, a large portion of pages 3/4 of the "Liverpool & London & Globe" ad (4 pages) at back has been torn away. In Part X, page 13 of the "Advertiser" is misnumbered "31."
In Part I, "The Queen Insurance Company" ad (2 pages) at back is on blue paper. In Part II, pages 9/10 and 11/12 and 13/14 and 15/16 in the "Advertiser" are unopened; the "Fry's Cocoa" ad (2 pages) at back is the alternative inset, on pink paper, advertising "Homoeopathic Cocoa." In Part IV, the "Tourists, Yachtsmen" slip (1 leaf, verso blank) at back is on pink paper. In Part VI, the "Liverpool & London & Globe" ad (4 pages) at back is on pink-tinted paper, and the "Albert Insurance Company Limited" ad (1 leaf) is on yellow paper. In Part VIII, "The Christmas Number of London Society" slip to precede the "Advertiser" is on brick-red paper. In Part IX, the "Albert Insurance Company Limited" ad (1 leaf) at back is on yellow paper; the "Astra Castra" ad (8 pages) is entirely unopened; and "Mrs. S. O. Beeton's Announcements" (4 pages) is on white paper. In Part X, the "New Serial by Capt. Mayne Reid" slip at back is on yellow paper, and the "Liverpool & London & Globe" ad (4 pages) is on pink-tinted paper. In Part XII, the "Albert Insurance Company Limited" ad (1 leaf) at back is on orange paper, and "The Prospects of Policy-Holders" ad (4 pages) is on light-blue paper. In Part XV, the "Liverpool & London & Globe" ad (4 pages) at back is on pink-tinted paper. In Part XVI, there is a repaired tear to the outer margin of the first leaf of the "Advertiser." In Part XVII, the "Mappin, Webb & Co." ad (2 pages) at back is on green paper. In Part XVIII, the "Liverpool & London & Globe" ad (4 pages) at back is on light-blue paper, and the "Mappin, Webb & Co." ad (2 pages) is on yellow paper.
In the original blue-green wrappers printed in black with a design by Marcus Stone on the outside front wrapper and advertisements on the inside front and inside and outside back wrappers. First issue of Part I without the imprint of W. Clowes and Sons at the foot of the front wrapper. The wrappers show the usual darkening and wear to the edges, with some short edge tears neatly repaired. Most parts have been rebacked or have repairs to the spines, many spines are still chipped or are splitting. There is an expert paper repair to the lower margin of the front wrapper of Part XVIII, and some faint staining to the front wrapper and the first few leaves of the "Advertiser." The spine of Part XIX/XX is chipped and splitting and there is considerable wear to the edges of the wrappers.
The text is generally clean, with some occasional light foxing or soiling. The preliminary leaves in Part X are partially unopened; the preliminary leaves in Part XIX/XX are unopened. The plates are generally clean, with some occasional light foxing. Both plates in Part IV have a faint dampstain in the lower margin; there is a short tear and crease to the outer edge of both plates and to the first three leaves of text (pages 225-230) in Part VIII; in Part XVI, there is a dampstain down the gutter margin of both plates, and the lower corner of both plates is darkened and worn; the plates in Part XIX/XX are heavily foxed.
Ink signature (?) at the foot of the back wrapper of Part V (smeared). Embossed stamp in the upper corner of the front wrapper of Part VI: "S. B. Howell / Bookseller / 52 / New Street / Birmingham." Overall, a very good set of Dickens's last completed novel. Housed in a tan cloth chemise and quarter tan morocco over marbled board book-backed slipcase, the spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands. From the Victor Gulotta Collection.
Eckel, pages 94-95. Gimbel A149. Hatton and Cleaver, pages 345-370. Smith, Dickens, I, 15.
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