Description

    First Edition, in the Original Monthly Parts, of Nicholas Nickleby

    Charles Dickens. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. With Illustrations by Phiz. London: Chapman and Hall, 1839.

    First edition, in the original twenty numbers bound in nineteen monthly parts (April 1838-October 1839). Octavo (8.8125 x 5.5625 inches; 225 x 142 mm.). xvi, 624 pages. Engraved frontispiece portrait of the author by Finden from a painting by D. Maclise and thirty-nine etched plates by and after H. K. Browne ("Phiz"). The text is first issue, with the misprints "visiter" for "sister" on page 123, line 17, in Part IV, and "latter" for "letter" on page 160, line 6 up, in Part V. In addition, page 353 in Part XII in numbered "35."

    Original bluish green wrappers printed in black with a design by "Phiz" on the outside front wrapper, and advertisements on the inside front and inside and outside back wrappers. The four plates in Parts I and II and the frontispiece portrait in Parts XIX/XX are in the first state, with the publisher's imprint at the foot; Plate No. 29 (to face page 457) in Part XV is from the first steel, with the long title: "Nicholas makes his first visit to the lodgings of Mr. Bray."; the signature is in capitals, a dot precedes the letter "P", and another dot appears between the last two letters. The etching is unnumbered. "The Nickleby Advertiser" is present and complete/correct in each part. Pages [3/4] and [13/14] of the "Advertiser" in Part XIII are creased; pages [9/10] and [11/12] of the "Advertiser" in Part XIV are unopened; pages [3/4] and [5/6] in Part XV are only partially opened. Part III lacks the "National Loan Fund Life Assurance Society" ad (16 pages) and the scarce "Joseph Amesbury's Patent Supports" large folding sheet (divided into 8 pages) at back. Part VI has an additional ad at back, "Immense Saving in the Purchase of Tea" (one leaf, verso blank), not called for in this part. Part VII lacks the "Immense Saving in the purchase Tea" ad at back (present in Part VI in this copy), and "On the First of November will be published...Heads of the People" (Robert Tyas) ad at back, but does have the "Works Published by William Smith" ad (4 pages), not called for in this part. Part VIII lacks the "This day is published...Heads of the People" (Robert Tyas) ad (2 pages), the "Works Published by William Smith" (4 pages) ad (present in Part VII in this copy), and the Mechi's Catalogue (18 pages of text plus wrappers) at back. Part XI lacks the small yellow slip issued by Charles Tilt, sometimes found pasted within the front wrapper. Part XII lacks the "New and Popular Works published by R. Tyas...The History of Napoleon" ad (4 pages) at back. Part XIV with the notice of the postponement of the plates "in consequence of the sudden indisposition of the artist." Part XVI lacks the "Mary Ashby" slip (a non-essential item, according to Hatton and Cleaver). Parts XIX/XX lacks the "New and Splendid Edition...Part I. of Gulliver's Travels" (2 pages) at back. The very rare and fragile "Hill's Seal Wafer's" ad at the back of Parts XIX/XX is present, but lacking the five accompanying specimen colored wafers, as usual.

    In addition to the ads called for by Hatton and Cleaver, this set has the following inserts:
    "Just Published, by Charles Thurnam, Carlisle...Remarks on the Unity of the Church" slip (one leaf, verso blank) at the back of Part V; "Just Published...Remarks on the Unity of the Church" slip (one leaf, verso blank) at front of Part VI (before the "Advertiser"); "Annuals for 1839. Charles Thurnam" (one leaf, verso blank) at back of Part VIII; "1839. The following Valuable Family Medicines...may be had of C. Thurnam, Carlisle" slip (4 pages) preceding the "Advertiser" in Part XI; "Just Published A Fine Print of Lanercost...Carlisle: Published by Charles Thurnam" slip (one leaf, verso blank) preceding the "Advertiser" in Part XIII; "Works published at Thurnam's Library, Carlisle" slip (8 pages) and "Select Family Medicines and Chemical Preparations" (Martindale & Son, Carlisle) ad (4 pages) printed in blue at front of Part XV; "Just published, and Sold by C. Thurnam, Carlisle, A Portrait" slip (one leaf, verso blank) preceding the "Advertiser" in Part XVIII; "A Table for the Use of Cattle Keepers...Carlisle: Printed and Sold by C. Thurnam. 1839" slip (2 pages) on green paper preceding the "Advertiser" in Parts XIX/XX.

    In Part X, the "Steel Pens" ad at back is on blue paper; in Part XIV, the S. Alderman ad is printed on pale yellow paper. The back wrapper of Part III is supplied with a duplicate of the back wrapper from Parts XIX/XX, with "The Library of Medicine" on the inside, and "New Works Just Published..." (Darton and Clark) on the outside. The wrappers of Parts I-III are lightly soiled and worn. With the exception of a few stains, the remaining wrappers are relatively clean and fresh. All spines have been rebacked or neatly repaired. Dampstaining to the lower corner of the front wrapper, a few short edge tears, some repaired on the verso. Small paper repair to the front wrapper of Part II, affecting the first three letters in "LIFE" in the title, the period and closing bracket after the part number, and five lines of dots on the verso; early ink inscription erased from the head of the front wrapper and evidence of an oval label having been neatly removed. The outer edge of the front wrapper of Part III has been renewed. Front wrapper of Part V stained, with the staining visible on the first leaf of the "Advertiser." The upper corner of the front wrapper of Parts XVI and XVII has been renewed, just affecting the ad on the verso of Part XVI and the image and the ad of the verso of Part XVII. The back wrapper and back ads in Parts XIX/XX have several wormholes, those on the wrapper repaired on the inside, affecting several words on both the inside and outside; there is a single wormhole visible in the text on pages 617-624, and on the preliminary leaves (half-title, title, dedication leaf, and preface), and an additional marginal wormhole in the Preface (leaves RR5-RR8 (pages [vii-xvi]). Small stain in the upper gutter of K4-L1 in Part V. Early ink inscription erased from the head of the front wrapper of Part II; faint early ink signature of "Mr. John Beddard" at the head of the front wrapper of Part III; ink stamp of "J. G. Gill" at head of front wrapper of Parts IV-VI, VIII-XV, and XVIII-XIX/XX, and an additional ink stamp at the foot of the front wrapper of Parts IV-VI and VIII-XIX/XX: "Sold by / Thurnam / Carlisle." The plates are generally very clean, with only minimal occasional spotting to some. Altogether, a very good set of this early title in parts. Housed in red cloth clamshell case lettered in gilt on the spine.

    "Nicholas Nickleby originally appeared in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly parts, the last part forming a double number, from April 1838-October 1839. It was published in book form on October 23, 1839" (Smith I, 5). From the Victor Gulotta Collection.

    Eckel, pages 64-66. Gimbel A40. Hatton and Cleaver, pages 131-160. Smith, Dickens, I, 5.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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