Oliver Twist


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Item#: 127168 price:$15,000.00

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist


DICKENS, Charles. Oliver Twist; Or, the Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz" London: Richard Bentley, 1838. Three volumes. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter calf, brown morocco spine labels, marbled boards. Housed in custom cloth chemise and slipcase. $15,000.

First edition, with the first-issue "Boz" title pages and second-issue "Church" plate. This copy from the collection of Dickens' good friend Lord Denman, with his engraved armorial bookplates in each volume, in contemporary calf.

Thomas Denman (1799-1854) served as Lord Chief Justice of England from 1832 until his retirement in 1850; he was a good friend of Dickens until their estrangement over Denman's attack on Bleak House. There was much friendly correspondence between Dickens and Denman, and Dickens clearly held the judge in high regard, as evidenced by the following, written in 1844: "Denman delights me. I am glad to think I have always liked him so well. I am sure that whenever he makes a mistake it is a mistake; and that no man lives who has a grander and nobler scorn for every mean and dastard action. I would to Heaven it were decorous to pay him some public tribute of respect" (Ley, The Dickens Circle, 180-81).

"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, page 313]… Dickens had Cruikshank design a new plate [with Rose and Oliver in a church interior]… 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"—i.e., in the first week of publication (Smith, 35). Mixed issue, with first-issue "Boz" on the title pages, and second-issue "Church" plate replacing the "Fireside" plate. Bound without half titles or publisher's advertisements. Smith 4 (especially note 3). Eckel, 59-62. Podeschi (Gimbel) A27. Cohn 239. Owner signatures.

Interiors remarkably clean, inner hinges expertly reinforced, only a few minuscule rubs to bindings. Near-fine in contemporary calf, with exceptional provenance.

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