First Edition Set of Dickens' Christmas Books, Including a First Issue of A Christmas Carol
The Christmas Books: A Christmas Carol; The Chimes; The Battle of Life; Cricket on the Hearth; The Haunted Man and The Ghost’s Bargain.
Item Number: 3895
London: Chapman and Hall, 1843-48.
First editions of all five of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Books, chief among them a first issue of A Christmas Carol, the veritable “Bible of Christmas.” Octavo, 5 volumes. Bound in full red polished calf by Zaehnsdorf, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled endpapers. All edges gilt. Housed together in a custom slipcase. Illustrated with sixty-three engravings altogether, four in color, by Leech, Maclise, Stanfield, Doyle and Landseer. Christmas Carol is from the first issue, with uncorrected text (“Stave I” as the first chapter heading), the red-and-blue title page dated 1843, and the half title printed in blue. Four more Christmas books followed its success. In each book, he deftly develops the themes of the first, ideals that have consequently become inseparable from the holiday itself: love and redemption, charity and mercy. First edition of The Chimes, with second state of the engraved title page (publisher’s imprint is below the engraved title vignette); First edition of The Cricket on the Hearth, with second state of advertising leaf at rear (headed “New Edition of Oliver Twist”); First edition of The Battle of Life, with vignette title page in the fourth state (subtitled “A Love Story” on a scroll carried by an angel and without publisher’s imprint); First edition of Haunted Man and Ghost’s Bargain. 110-125. Smith II: 4-6, 8-9. Gimbel (Podeschi).
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."
Other Books by this Author
Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Washington, D.C. Seventh February 1868.” Large oval portrait photograph measures 13 inches by 13 inches. Matted in a walnut frame which measures 24 inches by 27 inches. On his Washington tour Dickens met President Andrew Johnson and signed this photograph on the date of that meeting, February 7, which also happened to be Dickens’ birthday. He discussed in a letter to his friend and agent John Foster regarding that day, “This scrambling scribblement is resumed this morning, because I have just seen the President: who had sent to me very courteously asking me to make my own appointment. He is a man with a remarkable face.” From the Library of The Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Portrait photographs of this size signed by Dickens are exceptionally rare, especially with such noted provenance.
"You have been the last dream of my soul": First Edition, First Issue of Charles Dickens' A Tale Of Two Cities
London: Chapman and Hall, 1860.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ most enduring work, with p. 213 misnumbered “113,” the signature mark “b” at the foot of the plate list, and the misspelling “affetcionately” on line 12, p. 134. Octavo, bound in three quarters contemporary calf over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. Sixteen plates after H.K. Browne including frontispiece and title vignette. In near fine condition with light rubbing and wear, bookplate. An exceptional example of this Dickens classic.
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1850.
First edition of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Octavo, bound by Bayntun Bindery in three quarters morocco over cloth, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. With frontispiece, engraved title-page and 38 plates inserted throughout. Plates by H.K. Browne. In very good condition.
The Works of Charles Dickens (Including: Bleak House; A Tale of Two Cities; Little Dorrit; Great Expectations; Oliver Twist; A Christmas Carol; David Copperfield; Dombey & Son; The Old Curiosity Shop; Nicholas Nickleby).
London: Chapman & Hall, [c. 1870s].
Octavo, 30 volumes. Frontispiece and illustrations in each volume. Bound in full red morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, double gilt ruled to the front and rear panel, spines gilt with red floral inlays, top edges gilt, marbled endpapers. An exceptional set.
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.
“One always begins to forgive a place as soon as it’s left behind": First Edition of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1847.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ tenth novel and one of his outstanding novels. Octavo, 2 volumes. Bound in contemporary three quarters calf over marbled boards. With 40 illustrations by Hablôt Knight Brown (“Phiz”), including frontispiece and vignette title page. In near fine condition.
"In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time": Large Signed Portrait Photograph Signed by Charles Dickens
Large oval portrait photograph measures 20 inches by 116 inches. Matted in a contemporary frame which measures 25.5. inches by 29.5 inches. Signed “Charles Dickens (with a large flourish) Boston Sixth March 1868.” In 1867, Charles Dickens began his second American reading tour at Boston’s Tremont Temple, where an enthusiastic audience delighted in some of his most notable works, members of the audience included legendary literary stars such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Although Dickens was in declining health, he embarked on an ambitious travel schedule across the United States. Dickens returned to Boston once more before concluding his U.S. tour in New York City. When Charles Dickens arrived in Boston on November 19, 1867, the celebrated English author spent several days at the Parker House hotel recuperating from the voyage. As conscientious a performer as he was a writer, Dickens had prepared diligently for his performances, redrafting and memorizing key passages from his books especially for these engagements. He used a book only as a prop; he was so familiar with the material that he could improvise with ease. However, during his 1867-1868 tour he was plagued with Flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and an inflammation of his foot, which forced him to walk with a cane. During his last tours in 1868, Dickens confined much of his performances to the New England area. Dickens was grateful for the income he desperately needed from his readings, which generated $140,000, close to $2,000,000 today; but he longed for home. On April 8, 1868, Dickens gave the last performance of the tour. Prolonged applause followed the reading. He closed by telling the audience, “In this brief life of ours, it is sad to do almost anything for the last time… Ladies and gentlemen, I beg most earnestly, most gratefully, and most affectionately, to bid you, each and all, farewell.” He died two years later, having written 14 novels, several of which are considered classics of English literature. A desirable piece of Victorian literary history.
"Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts": The Works of Charles Dickens: Finely Bound in Full Morocco with Two Autographed Letters Signed by Charles Dickens
The Works of Charles Dickens (Including: Bleak House; A Tale of Two Cities; David Copperfield; Great Expectations; Oliver Twist; A Christmas Carol; David Copperfield; Dombey & Son; The Old Curiosity Shop; Nicholas Nickleby).
London: Chapman & Hall, 1906-1908.
Octavo, 40 volumes. Full red morocco bound by Bayntun, with gilt titles and elaborate tooling, blue inlay to the inner and rear panels. This example is finely bound and is extra-illustrated with two autograph letters signed by Charles Dickens. The first letter is to Sir John Bowring. An interesting letter regretting that Dickens did not attend Bowring’s lecture and mentioning his “Falstaff house” and “All the Year Round” and joking with him about taking poison from the Natives. Bowring was a travel writer and the fourth Governor of Hong Kong. Published in Letters of Charles Dickens: 1836-1870, p 180. The second letter is from London, June 13, 1848, to Edward Davis. In which Dickens apologizes for not answering his letter earlier but explains that he has no connection to the Punch office and that his amateur company will not be able to visit Newcastle. Numerous plates throughout including mounted illustrations after George Cruikshank, Hablot K. Browne. An exceptional complete set in near fine condition.
“A word in earnest is as good as a speech": Finely Bound First Edition of Charles Dickens' Bleak House
London: Bradbury Evans, 1853.
First edition of this Dickens’ classic. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt title to the spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt and gauffered to a red and green berry and leaf motif, turn-ins, engraved title, 39 engraved plates by H.K. Browne. In near fine condition. An exceptional example.
“I had considered how the things that never happen, are often as much realities to us, in their effects, as those that are accomplished": First Edition of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield; Bound In Cosway-Style Binding
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1850.
First edition of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Octavo, finely bound in Cosway style blue morocco, with an oval portrait of Charles Dickens on “ivorene” inset into the front panel, spine gilt in compartments, all edged gilt, light blue watered silk liners. In very good condition. Illustrated with 38 etchings by Hablot Knight Browne.
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition, first state of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1850.
First edition, first state of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Octavo, bound in three quarters calf over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. With frontispiece, engraved title-page and 40 plates. Illustrated by H.K. Browne. In near fine condition. A very nice example.
“And O there are days in this life, worth life and worth death": Rare Original Parts of Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend
London: Chapman and Hall, 1864-65.
First edition in the original parts of Dickens’ penultimate novel. Octavo, original wrappers, 20 parts in 19, as issued. 40 plates. In near fine condition with light rubbing and wear. Our Mutual Friend contained more pages of advertising and advertising slips than any other novel in parts by Dickens. Of the 320 pages of advertisements, all are present. Of the 89 individual inserted ads and slips, 83 are present: lacking is Hatton & Cleaver’s slip number 4 in part 2; slip number 2 in part 8; inserted ad number 4 in part 9; both examples of the “scarce” “Economic Life Assurance Society” ads in parts 14 & 18; and ad number 2 in the back of part 16. The often lacking “Foreign Bank Notes” slip in part 19/20 is present, and the uncommon typo of 31 for 13 is present in the advertisements in part 10. Hatton & Cleaver, pages 345-370; NCBEL III, 806. Housed in a custom clamshell box. An exceptional example.
London: Richard Bentley, 1838.
First edition, with “By Boz” to each title page and the “Rose Maylie” plate present. Octavo, three volumes, bound in full brown calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, triple ruled gilt to the front and rear panels, marbled endpapers, inner dentelles, top edge gilt. In near fine condition with light rubbing.
"China, with her five thousand years of history, her vast territory and her enormous population stands like a mountain peak among the nations of the world": Photographic View Book of China, Manchuria, and Korea during the period of Japanese occupation
Japan: c. 1930.
First edition, oblong quarto, original boards. Gilt-lettered cloth, string-bound. Text in Japanese with captions in both Chinese and English. Illustrated with photographs throughout, large folding panorama of the Great Wall of China; folding map of Korea, Manchuria and portions of northeastern China. A unique record of history.
First Editions of Each Book in Andrew Lang's Fairy Books; Each Bound Uniformly by Sangorski and Sutcliffe
The Fairy Books: Blue (1889); Red (1890); Green (1892); Yellow (1894); Pink; (1897); Grey (1900); Violet (1901); Crimson (1903); Brown (1904); Orange (1906); Olive (1907); Lilac (1910) [with The Blue Poetry Book (1891); The True Story Book (1893); The Red True Story Book (1895); The Animal Story Book (1896); The Arabian Nights Entertainments (1898); The Red Book of Animal Stories (1899); The Book of Romance (1902); The Red Romance Book (1905)].
London: Longmans, Green & Company, 1889-1910.
First editions of each volume in Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books: Blue (1889); Red (1890); Green (1892); Yellow (1894); Pink; (1897); Grey (1900); Violet (1901); Crimson (1903); Brown (1904); Orange (1906); Olive (1907); Lilac (1910) (12 volumes), along with eight of his other works: The Blue Poetry Book (1891); The True Story Book (1893); The Red True Story Book (1895); The Animal Story Book (1896); The Arabian Nights Entertainments (1898); The Red Book of Animal Stories (1899); The Book of Romance (1902); The Red Romance Book (1905). Bound in full leather by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, each volume with a different motif to the front and rear panel, all edges gilt, gilt turn-ins, marbled endpapers, book marks. Each volume bound with the original cloth spine and front panel. With numerous illustrations by H. J. Ford. In near fine condition with a few volumes with some light cracking at the hinges. An exceptional set bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe.
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE OF CHARLES DARWIN'S THE DESCENT OF MAN; From the library of Egyptologist Percy E. Newberry
London: John Murray, 1871.
First edition, first issue of both volumes (with “transmitted” the first word on p. 297 in the first volume; in the second, the printer’s note on the verso of the half-title, errata on title verso, and the postscript leaf after p. viii. Both volumes have the January ads). Octavo, two volumes, original green cloth. In good condition, rebacked, marbled board slipcase. Publisher’s embossed presentation stamp on titles; contemporary signature of Neville Goodman on half-titles; bookplates of the Egyptologist Percy E. Newberry. Newberry served on the Tutankhamun excavation team for several seasons. His speciality was the botanical specimens from the tomb, on which he would briefly report in the second volume of Carter’s The Tomb of Tutankhamen. on the front pastedowns. With noted provenance.
Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 5605, 1845-46.
First edition of the “first English translation of the Pentateuch in America,” the 1845 Hebrew-English Bible by one of the most prominent and influential figures in American Jewish history. Octavo, 5 volumes. Translated by Isaac Leeser. Bound in contemporary polished calf, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, rebacked. Lightly rubbed, moderate wear. A very nice example of a scarce and important work.