Pickwick Illustrations

Charles DICKENS   |   Thomas ONWHYN

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Item#: 127276 price:$1,600.00

Pickwick Illustrations
Pickwick Illustrations


DICKENS, Charles. Pickwick Illustrations. (London: E. Grattan, 1837). Slim octavo, contemporary three-quarter purple polished calf gilt, raised bands, marbled boards. $1600.

First edition of Thomas Onwhyn's series of 32 engraved illustrations for Dickens' remarkably popular Pickwick Papers, published the same year as Dickens' book.

"It is quite probable that only Shakespeare's Works, the Bible and perhaps the English Prayer Book exceed Pickwick Papers in circulation" (Eckel, 17). "Never was a book received with more rapturous enthusiasm than that which greeted the Pickwick Papers!" (Allibone I:500). Prolific illustrator Thomas Onwhyn was one of several illustrators to issue suites of engraved illustrations to accompany Dickens' immensely popular Pickwick Papers, despite that book already being issued with 43 illustrations by Seymour and "Phiz."

"Thomas Onwhyn came to public notice by his contribution of a series of 'illegitimate' illustrations to works by Charles Dickens. He executed 21 of the whole series of 32 plates to The Pickwick Papers, which were issued in eight (though intended to be in ten) monthly parts by E. Grattan in 1837; they are for the most part signed with the pseudonym Samuel Weller, but some bear Onwhyn's initials. From June 1838 to October 1839 Grattan issued a series of 40 etchings by Onwhyn, illustrating Nicholas Nickleby. In a letter of 13 July 1838 Dickens referred to 'the singular Vileness of the Illustrations'" (ODNB). Bookplate.

Light foxing to some of the plates, less toward the rear of the volume; light rubbing to joints, contemporary calf-gilt sound and attractive.

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