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). An exceptional set.
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
Original gilt bronze relief portrait of Charles Dickens. Framed. The entire piece measures 14.5 inches by 12 inches. In near fine condition. A unique example.
"The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again": First Edition of Dickens Nicholas Nickleby
London: Chapman and Hall, 1839.
First edition in book form of one of Dickens’ most popular novels, finely bound by Bayntun Bindery. Octavo, bound in red three quarters morocco over boards, gilt titles to the spine, with the steel-engraved frontispiece portrait of Dickens after the painting by David Maclise and engraved plate entitled “Specimen of the Illustrations of Valentine Vox, the Ventriloquist present, illustrated with 39 etchings by Hablot Knight Browne (“Phiz”) including plates 1-4 in the earliest states with the publisher’s imprint. In near fine condition.
London: Chapman and Hall, 1870.
First edition of Dickens’ final novel. Octavo, bound in full early 20th century morocco, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, double gilt ruled, raised gilt bands, all edges gilt, inner dentelles, marbled endpapers. Engraved frontispiece portrait of Dickens with tissue guard, 12 engraved plates. In near fine condition with very light rubbing and some toning to the pages.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times": First Edition, First Issue of Charles Dickens' A Tale Of Two Cities
London: Chapman and Hall, 1859.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ most enduring works, 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 full leather, gilt titles to the spine, elaborate gilt tooling to the spine, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, gilt embossed portrait of Dickens to the front panel, gilt signature to the rear panel, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, inner dentelles. Sixteen plates after H.K. Browne including frontispiece and title vignette. In fine condition.
“Time, consoler of affliction and softener of anger”: First edition in the scarce original parts of Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son
London: Bradbury & Evans, 1846-48.
First edition in the scarce original parts of Dickens tale of the fortunes of the Dombey shipping firm with “delight” for “joy” on page 284. Octavo, original wrappers, with 40 etchings by Halbot Knight Brown, containing all advertisements as issued. In very good condition. Housed in a custom full morocco and chemise pull-off case. Scarce and desirable.
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.
“There is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart": First edition of Hard Times from the library of British Prime Minister and novelist Benjamin Disraeli
London: Bradbury & Evans, 1854.
First edition in book form of Dickens’ attack on the living conditions of England’s mid-19th century industrial cities. Octavo, original green cloth blindstamped with gilt titles to the spine. From the library of British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli with his armorial bookplate to the pastedown. Disraeli played a central role in the creation of the modern Conservative Party in the United Kingdom and served as the country’s prime minister for two terms. He is the only British prime minister to have been of Jewish birth and was also a novelist, publishing works of fiction even as prime minister. In very good condition with the half-title present, which is often lacking and some loss to the front free endpaper. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise slipcase. An exceptional association linking these two great writers and figures of the nineteenth century.
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition In Parts of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield
London: Bradbury and Evans, May 1849-November 1850.
First edition in parts of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Original serial issue. Twenty parts in nineteen, octavo four to thirty-two pages of preliminary advertisements; text continuously paginated 1-624; eight leaves of preliminaries follow text in final part. Frontispiece, vignette title-page and thirty-eight additional inserted plates, the majority with tissue inserts as issued. Original blue-green illustrated paper wrappers. Several backstrips chipped at head and foot; some light soiling, wear at hinges; some parts skewed. In excellent condition, an unrestored example of Dickens’ classic work. Includes the scarce insert “Lett’s diaries” advertisement at end of Part VIII, which unfolds to a 26 inches, with ten specimen diary leaves. According to Hatton & Cleaver, this is a “particularly scarce” insert. Hatton & Cleaver, pp. 253-272. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise box. A very nice example.
"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 16 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.
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.
“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, 1857.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ most 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.
“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.
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.
"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.
“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
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.
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.
“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 three quarters morocco, gilt title to the spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, marbled edges, engraved title, 39 engraved plates by H.K. Browne. In near fine condition. A nice example.
First Edition of Charles Dickens' Master Humphrey's Clock; with pages from the original serial tipped in to to each volume
London: Chapman and Hall, 1840.
First edition of this collection of short stories which originally appeared as a weekly periodical of the same name. Large octavo, 3 volumes, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised gilt bands top edge gilt, marbled endpapers, engraved frontispiece in each volume, illustrated by George Cattermole and Hablot Browne. From the library of Virginia bibliophile and historian Christopher Clark Geest with his bookplate to front pastedown of each volume. Tipped in to the front and rear of each volume is an extensive collection containing pages from a number of the original Master’s Humphrey’s Clock serials in addition to several period reviews and article related to Dickens. In near fine condition. A unique example containing the stories in their original form.
“It's in vain to recall the past, unless it works some influence upon the present": First Edition In Parts of Charles Dickens' David Copperfield; from the library of Steve and Peggy Fossett
London: Bradbury and Evans, May 1849 - November 1850.
First edition in the original monthly parts of “the most perfect of all the Dickens novels” (Virginia Woolf). Octavo, original blue-green illustrated paper wrappers, twenty parts in nineteen, frontispiece, vignette title-page and thirty-eight additional inserted plates. In near fine condition, an unrestored example of Dickens’ classic work which is virtually complete with all preliminary advertisements with the exception of the slips after plates parts 9, 13, 14, and 16; all front advertisements in part 11 and the “Household Words” advertisement in part 15. With all of the rear advertisements with the exception of “The Theory of Musical Composition”, “Illustrated Weekly Journal” and “Penny Maps” in part 15, and all advertisements in parts 2 and 8. Housed in two custom full morocco and chemise boxes. From the library of Peggy and Steve Fossett with their bookplate to the pastedown. Scarce and desirable in the original parts which were “much read and roughly handled,” with “fine, clean and unrepaired copies difficult to procure” even in 1932 (Hatton & Cleaver pp.253-272; Sadleir 686; Yale/Gimbel A121).
"So the long collaboration between author and artist is ended; and it ends inevitable in an atmosphere of regret": First edition of Nonesuch Dickensiana
London: The Nonesuch Press, 1937.
First edition of the Nonesuch Press’s history and analysis of Dickens and his illustrators, including the first published complete bibliographical list of the original illustrations to Dickens’ works. Octavo, original cloth with gilt titles to the spine and front panel, engraved title vignette. In near fine condition.f
"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, 1859.
First edition, first issue of one of Dickens’ most enduring works, 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, 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.
"Poetry makes life what lights and music do the stage": FIRST EDITION of the Original Parts OF DICKENS The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club; finely bound in full morocco with all of the published plates in two states
London: Chapman and Hall, 1836-37.
First edition of Dickens’ first novel and one of his greatest works. Octavo, bound in full morocco with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised gilt bands, triple gilt ruled, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, with all of the published plates in two states, the original pictorial wrapper from part no. XVIII, both the original first issue Veller title page and second issue Weller title page, and the two plates by Buss which Dickens requested to be removed in subsequent printings. Also bound in are the Sam Weller suite of plates and Kyd suite of plates in full color which appeared in 1890. Kyd gained notoriety as an illustrator in late 19th century London by frequenting most of the local inns where he would produce watercolor portrait sketches of patrons in exchange for ale. In very good condition. A sharp example of this important work.
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often": Winston Churchills Collected Works; 38 Volumes In Full Vellum In the Original Slipcases; Inscribed by Clementine and Mary Soames
London: Library of Imperial History In association With Charles Scribner's Sons and The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1973-76.
Centenary limited edition of Sir Winston S. Churchill’s collected works, inscribed by both his wife and youngest daughter in the year of the centenary of his birth to the winner of the 1974 C & G Gimcrack Horse Race at that very race. Octavos, 34 volumes bound in the original full vellum with gilt titles and gilt-stamped Churchill coat of arms to the spines and front panels, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Each volume housed in the original dark green slipcase which is also gilt-stamped with the Churchill coat of arms. One of only 3,000 sets produced, this is number 143. Volume I, which contains My Early Life and My African Journey is inscribed by The Baroness Clementine Churchill opposite her preface, “Inscribed by Clementine Spencer Churchill” as well as her youngest daughter Mary, “presented by her youngest daughter Mary Soames, “and presented by her daughter to Mr. Ravi Tikkoo at York Races August the 22nd 1974.” The inscribed volume is housed in a custom oak and vellum clamshell box with ornate claw feet, velvet lining, and gold plaque which reads, C and G Gimcrack Stakes 1974 Presented to Mr. Ravi Tikkoo Owner of Steel Heart (Habitat – A. I. by Abernant) Winner of the C & G Gimcrack Stakes 1974, by Lady Soames in the Centenary Year of the Birth of Her Father Sir Winston Churchill.” In excellent condition. A brilliant set with exceptional provenance.
Rare First Edition of Mathematical Collections and Translations, which includes the first translation in English of Galileo's System of the World" (Dialogo)
London: William Leybourn, 1661.
First edition of Thomas Salusbury’s Mathematical Collections and Translations. Salusbury compiled and translated important writings by Archimedes, Descartes, Galileo, Kepler, Tartaglia, Torricelli into English for the first time, greatly influencing the English-speaking world. This volume contains the first English translation of Galileo’s 1632 The Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo). Also included is Galileo’s 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany, published in 1636 as Nov-antiqua sanctissimorum patrum et probatorum theologorum doctrina, which asserted the independence of science from religious authority. This short but important Epistle to the Grand Dutchesse Mother concerning the Authority of Holy Scripture in Philosophical Controversies (known today as the Letter to Christina), was only the second work of Galileo’s to be published in England. It preceded the Latin edition, published in London by Thomas Dicas, by two years and remained the only vernacular translation for two centuries. Apart from the two works by Galileo, Salusbury included other translations from Italian and Latin in this volume of his Collections, such as Johannes Kepler’s and Didacus a Stunica’s “Reconcilings of Scripture Texts,” and Foscarinus’ Epistle to Father Fantonus reconciling the Authority of Scripture. Folio, bound in full calf, with 4 engraved plates. Lacking the half-title, contents leaf, fly-title to The System of the World, and the errata leaf found at the end of the first part in some copies. 2 parts in one volume. In very good condition with the contents showing some light browning in the upper margins. First editions are exceptionally rare.
"One of the four Greatest Novels Ever Written" (Arthur Schopenhauer): Rare First Edition in English of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship
London: Oliver & Boyd, 1824.
First edition in English of Goethe’s masterpiece. Octavo, 3 volumes. Bound in contemporary half cloth over marbled boards. In near fine condition with light toning to the spine.
"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more": THE COMPLETE WORKS OF JANE AUSTEN; Finely Bound
The Works of Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Emma).
London: Robert Riviere & Sons, c. 1920.
The works of Jane Austen, all six novels of Austen, bound in five volumes. Octavo, bound in three quarters leather, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, raised bands, marbled endpapers, illustrated colored frontispieces, half-titles. Contains Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Mansfield Park, and Emma. In near fine condition. A very nice set.