First Edition of Charles Dickens' Master Humphrey's Clock in the rare original cloth
Master Humphrey’s Clock.
Item Number: 95854
London: Chapman and Hall, 1840.
First edition of this collection of short stories. Large octavo, 3 volumes, original blindstamped pictorial cloth, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel, marbled endpapers, all edges marbled, engraved frontispiece with tissue guard in each volume, illustrated by George Cattermole and Hablot Browne. In very good condition with a few chips to the spines. An attractive example.
Master Humphrey's Clock was a weekly serial that contained both short stories and two novels (The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge). Some of the short stories act as frame stories to the novels so the ordering of publication is important. Although Dickens' original artistic intent was to keep the short stories and the novels together, he himself cancelled Master Humphrey's Clock before 1848, and described in a preface to The Old Curiosity Shop that he wished the story to not be tied down to the miscellany it began within. Most later anthologies published the short stories and the novels separately. However, the short stories and the novels were published in 1840 in three bound volumes under the title Master Humphrey's Clock, which retains the full and correct ordering of texts as they originally appeared.