"LARGER AND BRIGHTER THAN THE REALITY": NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, FIRST EDITION, ATTRACTIVELY BOUND
DICKENS, Charles. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. London: Chapman and Hall, 1839. Octavo, modern three-quarter brown morocco, raised bands. $1800.
First edition, first issue, of one of Dickens' most popular novels, illustrated with 39 etchings by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz") and the steel-engraved frontispiece portrait after the painting by Daniel Maclise.
The plot, the characters, the dialogue, everything about the book "has the feel of theatre; it is as if Dickens saw human life conducted among lights of the stage, making it somehow larger and brighter than the reality" (Ackroyd, 283). This copy with first state of the engraved frontispiece portrait of Dickens, and first state of plates 1-4, all with the Chapman & Hall imprint at bottom. Originally issued in 20 parts from April 1838 to October 1839. Bound without half title. Eckel, 64-66. Smith I:5. Gimbel A41.
Two plates, opposite pages 19 and 248, with closed tears repaired on versos. Occasional staining or thumb-soiling, chiefly marginal, faint toning to plates, as often. An extremely good copy, in an attractive and fine morocco binding.