First Edition of Dickens' First Book, in the Original ClothCharles Dickens. Sketches by "Boz," Illustrative of Every-Day Life, and Every-Day People. In Two Volumes. Illustrations by George Cruikshank. London: John Macrone, 1836.
First edition of Dickens' first book. Two twelvemo volumes. viii, 348; , 342 pages. Sixteen etched plates by George Cruikshank, including frontispieces (frontispiece in Volume II with original tissue guard).
Publisher's dark grayish-green embossed leaf-patterned morocco-grain cloth. Spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt. Later yellow coated endpapers. A few areas of slight discoloration to cloth. Volume I shaken, with corners lightly rubbed, a few tiny chips at head of spine, cloth fraying at foot of spine, and rear joint starting to split. Volume II just slightly skewed, corners lightly rubbed, cloth fraying at head and foot of spine, short split to front hinge at upper edge. Slight offsetting from the plates to the text and the text to the plates, some light foxing and faint marginal soiling or staining, a few corners lightly creased. Volume I with a repaired tear to the outer margin of G9 and G10 (pp. 137/138 and 139/140), just affecting a couple of letters; over-opened between p. viii and p. 1, pp. 326 and 327, and pp. 346 and 347. Volume II with leaves B8 and C1 (pp. 24 and 25) adhered to one another, small portion of upper corner of D9 and D10 (pp. 65/66 and 67/68) torn away when opened. Despite these flaws, this copy shows very well. Each volume with the early ink signature of Tyrconnel at head of title. The volumes are housed together in a dark green buckram clamshell case.
"It is an irrefutable fact that the book first published by an author who subsequently attained great eminence is the most difficult of acquirement in good condition. This is acutely true of Dickens's first book" (Eckel, p. 11).
"Sketches by Boz was first published on February 8, 1836 at one guinea. A second edition with a new preface dated 1st August 1836 was published on August 10, 1836. A third edition, published on March 11, 1837, contained the prefaces to the first and second editions" (Smith).
Eckel, pp. 11-Gimbel A1. Smith I, 1.
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