“One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind": First Edition, first issue of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit; elaborately bound in full crushed morocco by Bayntun-Riviere
Item Number: 130391
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1857.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ most outstanding novels Octavo, bound in full morocco by Bayntun-Riviere, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt medallion portrait of Dickens on the front panel, gilt signature on the back panel, inner dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. In fine condition. With 40 illustrations by Hablot Knight Brown (“Phiz”), including frontispiece and vignette title page. In fine condition. An exceptional presentation.
“In Little Dorrit Dickens mounts his single most ferocious onslaught against England and English society; against its government, against its financiers, against its artists and even against its ordinary citizens who, at least in Bleeding Heart Yard, believed that …foreigners were always immoral… that foreigners had no independent spirit…” (Ackroyd, 758). Perhaps unsurprisingly, many reviewers reviled the book upon its publication. Dickens’ friend Hans Christian Andersen advised the author to ignore the critics: “They are forgotten in a week, and your book stands and lives” (Ackroyd, 780). And indeed, Little Dorrit does: not only a commercial success in its day (poor press notwithstanding) but also esteemed now as a “wonderfully rich novel— rich in ideas, rich in characterization, rich in incident, and written in a richly imaginative prose… Many [modern] critics regard it as Dickens’ masterpiece” (Watts, 108).