FINELY BOUND FIRST EDITIONS OF DICKENS’ VERY RARE FIRST BOOKS: SKETCHES BY BOZ, FIRST AND SECOND SERIES
DICKENS, Charles. Sketches by Boz, Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People. WITH: Sketches by Boz… Second Series. London: John Macrone, 1836-37. Four volumes in three (as published). Octavo, early 20th-century full red morocco gilt, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled endpapers, top edges gilt, uncut. Original cloth covers and spines bound in at rear of each volume. $7000.
First editions of Dickens’ first and rarest work, illustrated by George Cruikshank, lovely copies of both Series, handsomely bound by Birdsall.
The sketches of urban life that make up Sketches by Boz first appeared in a variety of London magazines. "What impressed his contemporaries as much as the vivacity of his style was the way in which he was able to chronicle the lives of 'the people' even at the time they were first struggling to find social and economic expression. This was how he found his great subject, in crowd scenes, in streets, in the lives of people who are uniquely tied together, for better or worse, and who are part of the city which rises like an hallucination through these early sketches" (Ackroyd, 169). "It is an irrefutable fact that the book first published by an author who subsequently attained great eminence is the most difficult to acquire in good condition. This is acutely true of Dickens' first book" (Smith, 11). Only issue of First Series; second issue of Second Series, without the list of illustrations on page [x] (i.e., the page numbered viii), and without "Vol. III." on plates. Smith I, 1 and 2. Cohn 232. Gimbel A1 and A4. Early owner signatures on title pages.
Plates and text fine, expert repairs to joints and spine ends of lovely bindings. A beautiful set.