Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

Charles DICKENS   |   Hablot Knight BROWNE

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Item#: 127050 price:$8,500.00

Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

"THE BEST OF MY STORIES": FIRST EDITION OF MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT, IN THE ORIGINAL PARTS

DICKENS, Charles. The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. His Relatives, Friends, and Enemies. London: Chapman and Hall, January, 1843-July, 1844. Twenty parts in nineteen. Octavo, original pale bluish-green printed paper wrappers. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $8500.

First edition in original parts of Dickens' picaresque novel of "farce, melodrama, and social criticism," with 40 full-page etchings by Hablôt Knight Browne ("Phiz"). An excellent copy in the scarce and desirable original parts—complete with all advertisements—handsomely boxed by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

First issued in 20 numbers from January 1843 to July 1844, Martin Chuzzlewit reflects the disillusionment Dickens felt from a recent trip to the United States, his first American reading tour. As Fielding had sent his Tom Jones to London, Dickens "adopted the same radical expedient of sending his youthful protagonist not merely to London, but to America. The book's picaresque technique provides him with a large canvas and plenty of opportunity for farce, melodrama, and social criticism" (Philip V. Allingham). "You know, as well as I," Dickens told John Forster at the time of its publication, "I think Chuzzlewit in a hundred points immeasurably the best of my stories" (Ackroyd, 415). The title page vignette was printed from three nearly identical etched plates produced of the same subject (no priority established). This version has "£100" on the signpost, is signed "Phiz," and has five studs on the trunk lid. With the four E. Moses booklets in Parts 9, 10, 11, and 16, which Hatton & Cleaver calls "essential… but very frequently missing"; this copy contains a fifth such booklet in Part 12 in place of the four-page insert for the same advertiser called for by Hatton & Cleaver, quite possibly as issued. This is the only variance from the advertisements noted in the bibliography. Part 19/20 rear wrapper first issue, with no difference from the previous part's rear wrapper. Text and illustrations complete. Hatton & Cleaver, 185-212. See Eckel, 71-73. Smith I:7. Gimbel A72. Contemporary owner ink signature to front wrapper of Part 1.

Only very infrequent faint foxing. Some neat and unobtrusive repairs to several spines, light edge-wear and creasing to fragile paper wrappers, less than often seen. An exceptional copy in parts in the original wrappers, quite scarce and desirable with all advertisements.

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DICKENS, Charles >
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