Oliver Twist


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Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist


DICKENS, Charles. Oliver Twist; Or, the Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz." London: Richard Bentley, 1838. Three volumes. Octavo, mid-20th century full crushed red morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt. Housed in a custom slipcase.

First edition, first issue, of Dickens’ classic portrayal of “the miseries of the poor… [and] the phantoms of his own childhood” (Ackroyd, 219), with 24 plates by George Cruikshank including the suppressed “Fireside” plate and “Boz” title pages, handsomely bound.

From the jollity of The Pickwick Papers (1836-37) "Dickens turned in Oliver Twist to the novel of crime and terror… Some characters are drawn with humorous realism, but for the most part humor is dimmed by gloomy memories of the author's own neglected childhood and sensational scenes are shrouded in an atmosphere genuinely eerie and sinister… That Dickens shared with his contemporaries the conviction that the novel should be an instrument of social reform is evident in Oliver Twist" (Baugh et al., 1346-47). "When Bentley decided to publish Oliver in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank had to complete the last few plates in haste. Dickens did not review them until the eve of publication and objected to the Fireside plate which depicted Oliver at Rose Maylie's knee [Volume III, p. 313]… Dickens had Cruikshank design a new plate… This Church plate was not completed in time for incorporation into the early copies of the book, but it replaced the Fireside plate in later copies… Dickens not only objected to the Fireside plate, but also disliked having 'Boz' on the title page. He voiced these objections prior to publication and the plate and title page were changed between November 9 and 16" (Smith, 35). Volumes I and II with half titles; Volume III with the two pages of publisher's advertisements instead, as usual. Volume I also with four pages of publisher's ads at end. Smith 4 (especially note 3). Eckel, 51-60.

Scattered light foxing. A most handsome copy in very nearly fine condition.

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