First Edition of Charles Dickens' Master Humphrey's Clock

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Master Humphrey’s Clock. With Illustrations By George Cattermole and Hablot Browne.


Item Number: 27006

London: Chapman and Hall, 1840-41.

First edition. Octavo, three volumes, contemporary half morocco, gilt titles to the spine. Three frontispieces and numerous woodcut illustrations by George Cattermole and Hablot Browne and decorated initials in the text. In near fine condition.

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.

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