"The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again": First Extra Illustrated Signed Limited Edition of Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby

  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.
  • The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby.

$6,000.00

Item Number: 90385

London: Chapman and Hall, 1839.

First extra illustrated signed limited edition of one of Dickens’ most popular novels. Octavos, two volumes bound in full brown pebbled morocco with gilt titles and elaborate gilt tolling to the spine in 6 compartments within raised gilt bands, floral gilt ruling to the panels, gilt turn-ins and inner dentelles, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers, illustrated with numerous engravings. Inscribed by Charles Dickens three days before his final reading in his American tour on the limitation page, “Faithfully yours, Charles Dickens New York. Wednesday Fifteenth April, 1868.” Dickens performed 22 readings at Steinway Hall in New York City between December 1867 and April 18, 1868. His final appearance occurred at a banquet dinner in his honor at the landmark Delmonico’s on Saturday the 18th where he famously stated that he would no longer denounce America, having restored his faith during this visit after his less successful first trip twenty years earlier. This extra-illustrated edition was compiled and bound by Curtis Guild in 1880 with an additional printed title-page stating that it is “Extended by the Insertion of the Author’s Autograph, a Portrait of Mr. Macready, a Complete Set of the Onwhyn plates, Illustrations by Darley, Reinhart, Eytinge and Others, Collected from Various Sources in Europe and America, by Curtis Guild / Boston, 1880.” In near fine condition. A stunning example.

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.

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