“Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Finely Bound First Edition Set of Dickens' Christmas Books

  • The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain.
  • The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain.
  • The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain.
  • The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain.

The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain.

$8,800.00

Item Number: 92806

London: Chapman and Hall, 1843-48.

First editions of all five of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Books, including A Christmas Carol, the veritable “Bible of Christmas.” Octavo, 5 volumes. Bound in full olive morocco by Worsford, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, gilt turn ins, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. With the original red gilt cloth cover and spine bound in at the rear of each volume. Illustrated with sixty-three engravings altogether, four in color, by Leech, Maclise, Stanfield, Doyle and Landseer. First edition, third issue of A Christmas Carol with the textual errors uncorrected, the title in red and blue, and the “Stave One” reading as the first chapter heading. First edition of The Chimes, with half title, frontispiece, and title vignette in second state. First edition, first issue of The Cricket on the Hearth with half-title, frontispiece and engraved title, without advertising leaf at rear. First edition, third issue of The Battle of Life, with half title, frontispiece and engraved title in fourth state, without advertisement leaf. First edition, first issue of The Haunted Man and Ghost’s Bargain with half-title, frontispiece and engraved title. In near fine condition. An exceptional presentation.

Dickens' A Christmas Carol "may readily be called the Bible of Christmas. It was issued about ten days before Christmas, 1843, and 6000 copies were sold on the first day the number of reprintings have been so many that all attempts at the figures have been futile. Altogether 24 editions were issued in the original format" (Eckel, 110). "It was a work written at the height of Dickens’ great powers, which would add to his considerable fame, bring a new work to the English language, increase the festivities at Christmastime, and contain his most eloquent protest at the condition of the poor" (John Mortimer). "Suddenly conceived and written within a few weeks, [A Christmas Carol] was the first of Dickens’ Christmas books (a new literary genre thus created incidentally) it was an extraordinary achievement—the one great Christmas myth of modern literature." Four more Christmas books followed its success. In each book, Dickens deftly developed the themes of the first, ideals that have consequently become inseparable from the holiday itself: love and redemption, charity and mercy

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