“NEVER WAS A BOOK RECEIVED WITH MORE RAPTUROUS ENTHUSIASM THAN THAT WHICH GREETED THE PICKWICK PAPERS”
DICKENS, Charles. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club. London: Chapman & Hall, 1837. Thick octavo, later three-quarter black calf gilt, raised bands, tan morocco spine labels, marbled endpapers. $6500.
First edition, bound from the original parts (mixed first and later issues), of one of Dickens’ greatest works, of one of Dickens’ greatest works, with 43 illustrations by Seymour, Phiz, and Buss, attractively bound.
"From a literary standpoint the supremacy of this book has been… firmly established… It was written by Dickens when he was 24 and its publication placed the author on a solid foundation from which he never was removed…. 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). Pickwick was the first volume in which Dickens was acknowledged as the author, rather than using his pen name, "Boz." Originally issued in 20 parts from April 1836 to November 1837. With 43 illustrations by Robert Seymour and Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz" or "Nemo"), including frontispiece and vignette title page, and with the scarce plates by Robert William Buss at pages 68 and 74, suppressed in later issues. Includes marginal note on page 9 that was suppressed in later issues (Smith I:3). Mixed issue, with four of the seven first-issue points elaborated by Smith after Hatton & Cleaver: page 341, line 1 correctly reading "inde-licate" and line 5 reading "inscription"; page 342, line 5, with "S. Veller" uncorrected; page 400, line 21, with "this friends"; and page 432, with the "F" in the "OF" of the headline imperfect. Without "Directions to Binder"/errata leaf. Without half title. Smith I:3. Eckel 17-58. Gimbel A15.
A few spots of foxing to interior, darkening to marginal edges of plates, light wear to binding, small split at head of spine. An extremely good copy.