Our Mutual Friend


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Item#: 127048 price:$6,200.00

Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend
Our Mutual Friend


DICKENS, Charles. Our Mutual Friend. London: Chapman and Hall, 1864-65. Twenty parts in nineteen. Octavo, original green printed paper wrappers. Housed in custom half morocco clamshell box. $6200.

First edition in original parts of this Dickens favorite. A very nice copy in original wrappers, complete with all advertisements, handsomely boxed by Sangorski & Sutcliffe.

With Our Mutual Friend, "Dickens has for the first time given serious consideration to the theme of unrequited love. In earlier books it may have been secret or ill-timed, but there was always an equilibrium in which both parties seem to accept that they loved or can be loved; and that, when eventually they declare their love, it is not rejected." But in Our Mutual Friend "there is torture in love, and despair, and madness. There is some necessary connection between courtship and death… it is possible to trace the strange curve of Dickens' temperament exploring extremity in art if not necessarily life" (Ackroyd, 955). In the illustrations to Our Mutual Friend, "for the first time, a departure is made from etchings on steel. The designs of Marcus Stone are engraved on wood by Dalziel (21) and W. T. Green (19), to the usual number of 40 subjects" (Haddon and Cleaver, 347).

In Our Mutual Friend, "the official advertising sheet has a greater volume of material than any other of the works in original parts—a total number of 320 pages occupying the front position within the covers… No less than 89 individual insets and slips are placed within the back wrappers, each monthly part containing a proportion" (Hatton & Cleaver, 345). In this set, the text and plates are complete—in many parts the text is unopened—and all advertisements are present. (One four-page insert at the rear of Part 15 is bound in upside down.) The printer's imprint does not appear on the front wrapper of the first part, as issued. Hatton & Cleaver, 345-70. Eckel, 94-95. Smith I, 15. Bookseller label to front wrapper of Part 15.

Only infrequent faint foxing. Parts 11-14 and 16 with repairs to spines; Parts 13 and 16 also have paper repairs to edges and some darkening to wrappers, Part 13 restitched, Part 19/20 with tape repair to rear wrapper, short splits to wrappers along spine. All parts with occasional light edge-wear and creasing, as expected. An extremely good copy in the original parts, quite scarce and desirable with all advertisements present.

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