“One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind": First Edition, first issue of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit in the original monthly parts

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Little Dorrit.

$3,200.00

Item Number: 95188

London: Bradbury and Evans, 1855-1857.

First edition, first printing in the original monthly parts of one of Dickens’ most outstanding works. Octavo, original publisher’s illustrated blue-green wrappers, 20 numbered serials in 19 parts, with 40 illustrations by Hablôt Knight Brown (“Phiz”). Housed in a custom morocco and chemise case. In very good condition with light wear to the extremities.

“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). The story first appeared as a serial in 1855 and was published in book form in 1857.

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