"HUMAN LIFE… SOMEHOW LARGER AND BRIGHTER THAN THE REALITY": NICHOLAS NICKLEBY IN ORIGINAL PARTS
DICKENS, Charles. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. London: Chapman and Hall, 1838-39. Twenty parts in nineteen. Octavo, original printed green wrappers. Housed in a custom chemise and half morocco slipcase. $5500.
First edition, mixed issue, in original parts of one of Dickens' most popular works, illustrated with 39 engraved plates by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz").
The plot, the characters, the dialogue—indeed "everything about [Nickleby] has the feel of theatre; it is as if Dickens saw human life conducted among lights of the stage, making it somehow large and brighter than the reality" (Ackroyd, 283). Illustrated with 39 engraved plates by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz") and an engraved plate of Dickens after a portrait by Daniel Maclise in the final part. Mixed issue (including later issue Part 4 with "visiter" corrected to "sister" on page 123, line 17, and first issue Part 5 with "latter" instead of "letter" on page 160, six lines up). Most advertisements are present with the following exceptions: Part 1 without the first 14 pages of the 16-page Advertiser; Part 2 without the 16-page Advertiser and without the 18-page Mechi's catalogue at the rear; Part 3 without the large folding "Amesbury's Supports" described in the bibliography as "scarce"; Part 8 without 2-page slip and 18-page Mechi's catalogue at rear; Part 16 without 16-page "Medical Casket" catalogue at rear; and Part 19/20 without 8 pages of the 12-page Tyas insert at rear, and without the "Hill's Wafers" insert, also described as "scarce." The non-essential Ashby slip in Part XVI is not present in this copy. Hatton & Cleaver, 131-160. Eckel 64. Smith 40. A few parts with early owner signatures or initials on front wrappers.
Parts 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 15, 16, 19/20 neatly respined, with minor repair to lower corner of front wrapper of 19/20, a few other minor repairs. Light edge-wear to a few wrappers, plates in several parts with marginal foxing. Scarce in the original parts.