CHARLES DICKENS FIRST EDITIONS AT ASH RARE BOOKS
CHARLES DICKENS FIRST EDITIONS AT
FIRST EDITIONS OF CHARLES DICKENS
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DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : THE POSTHUMOUS PAPERS OF THE PICKWICK CLUB.
London : Piccadilly Fountain Press, -1932. The Lombard Street edition : limited to 1,000 sets, originally issued, like the original edition, in monthly parts. A handsome production, including facsimiles of all the original plates by Robert Seymour, Robert W. Buss and “Phiz” (Hablot Knight Browne) in their rare first states, facsimiles of the original wrappers in first state, facsimiles of the original manuscript, the original prospectus, etc. Edited by John Harrison Stonehouse, who also provides an illuminating introduction on the origins and original publishing history of the work.
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[DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870] : MEMOIRS OF JOSEPH GRIMALDI. EDITED BY “BOZ”.
London : Richard Bentley, 1838. First edition : the first issue, with the final plate unaltered. The memoirs of the great Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), actor, comedian and clown – the most popular English entertainer of his time. Grimaldi’s manuscript was much revised and heavily rewritten by Dickens (who had seen him perform as a child), “making such other alterations as he conceived would improve the narration of the facts, without any departure from the facts themselves”.
[DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870] : OLIVER TWIST : OR, THE PARISH BOY’S PROGRESS. BY “BOZ”.
London : Richard Bentley, 1838. First edition : the first issue, with the pseudonymous ‘Boz’ title-pages and Cruikshank’s cheerful final ‘Fireside’ plate – both of which infuriated Dickens and were replaced within a week of publication by title-pages giving his name and a far more sombre ‘Church’ plate to conclude the story. Subsequent alterations were also made to the third last plate (likewise unseen by Dickens prior to publication) and Sikes’ dog is made to look less like the ‘tailless baboon’ that Dickens (quite rightly) judged it – and as it appears here. The evidence is strong that only the 528 sets already subscribed for by the trade were issued in this earliest form (Tillotson, The Library, 1963, p.121) and that all subsequent copies had the revised titles and the substituted and altered plates. The present copy has also had the later substitute ‘Church’ plate bound in, as well as alternative impressions of eight further plates, and (somewhat inexplicably) a duplicate of the text leaves F1 and F8 in vol.iii.
DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : MASTER HUMPHREY’S CLOCK.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1840-1841. First edition, in book form, bound from the original parts, of both “The Old Curiosity Shop” and “Barnaby Rudge” – “Master Humphrey” was never reprinted, and even unsold copies were cannibalised (within weeks of issue) to make separate books of the two titles we know today. “I am conscious that my pen winces a little even while I write these words. But it was done, and wisely done; and ‘Master Humphrey’s Clock’, as originally constructed, became one of the lost books of the earth, – which, we all know, are far more precious than any that can be read for love or money” (Charles Dickens, in 1848). A specimen wrapper from both the weekly and monthly issue of the parts is preserved at the rear of each volume.
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DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 – editor : THE PIC NIC PAPERS. BY VARIOUS HANDS.
London : Henry Colburn, 1841. First edition. A lively collection of stories and occasional pieces assembled by Dickens as a way of financially assisting the widow and children of his first publisher, John Macrone, who had died at the age of just twenty-eight. Dickens wrote the preface and the first story, “The Lamplighter”, and there are further contributions from William Harrison Ainsworth, Allan Cunningham, W. H. Maxwell, Thomas Moore, Leitch Ritchie, Horace Smith, Agnes Strickland, and others who preferred to remain anonymous.
DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : DOMBEY & SON.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1848. First edition : bound from the original monthly parts published between October 1846 and April 1848.
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DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : DOMBEY AND SON.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1848. First edition : bound from the original monthly parts published between October 1846 and April 1848. This copy has the “capatin” misprint (p.324) – regarded as a point of earliest issue.
DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 : HARD TIMES. FOR THESE TIMES.
London : Bradbury & Evans, 1854. First edition. “What I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts ...”. The book edition appeared a week before the completion of the serialisation in “Household Words”.
DICKENS, Charles (Charles John Huffam), 1812-1870 & COLLINS, Wilkie (William Wilkie), 1824-1889 : NO THOROUGHFARE. BEING THE EXTRA CHRISTMAS NUMBER OF ALL THE YEAR ROUND.
London : Chapman & Hall, 1867. First edition. “Day of the month and year, November the thirtieth, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-five. London Time by the great clock of Saint Paul’s, ten at night. All the lesser London churches strain their metallic throats ...”. Two boys at the Foundling Hospital are given the same name, with disastrous consequences in later life – Dickens and Collins in collaboration with a fine novella – a Christmas Special story for “All the Year Round”, which was also produced simultaneously as a stage-play.
PROCTOR, Richard A. (Richard Anthony), 1837-1888 : WATCHED BY THE DEAD : A LOVING STUDY OF DICKENS’ HALF-TOLD TALE.
London : W. H. Allen & Co., 1887. First edition. An interesting study and possible solution to 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood', supplied by the prolific writer on astronomy, mathematics, etc.
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