1853 Bleak House
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First Edition, Illustrated, Leather Binding
The first edition of this work, being bound from the parts, with small stamp holes to the gutter. The first issue of this work, with the ten dark plates, and the following issue points: 'elgble' to page 9 line 6, ‘chair’ to page 209 line 23, 'counsinship' to page 275 line 22, and ‘picter’ to page 529 line 32. Issue points as stated by John C. Eckel in his 1913 publication 'The First Editions of the Writings of Charles Dickens'. Illustrated with a frontispiece, vignette title page, and thirty-eight plates. Bound without half-title. Collated, bound without half-title, otherwise work is complete, with all plates present. With a five line errata to the end of the list of plates. ‘Bleak House’ is narrated by Esther Summerson, describing her house of Bleak House, where she goes to live under a new guardian, Mr Jarndyce. At the heart of the novel is a long running legal case, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, in the Court of Chancery. The case surrounds a number of several conflicting wills written by the same person. This case was probably inspired by the Thellusson vs Woodford case, a will which was read in 1797, and was contested and not determined until 1859. The novel actually held support a judicial reform, in the form of the 1870s Judicature Acts. Charles Dickens is possibly the most well-known Victorian author, with his fifteen novels still being widely read and performed, as well as being studied in school and enjoyed by people of all ages. ‘Bleak House’ was illustrated by Hablot Knight Browne, also known by his pen name ‘Phiz’. Browne was an English illustrator who illustrated ten of Charles Dickens' books, including 'David Copperfield', and 'Dombey and Son'. Prior owner's ink inscription to the recto to the front free endpaper, 'W. Harvey'.
In a full straight grain morocco binding. Externally, generally smart, with rubbing to the boards and spine. A little bumping to the head and tail of the spine and to the extremities. Minor fading to the spine. A little rubbing and very light surface cracks to the spine label. A small amount of lifting to the front board to the joint. A little loss of leather to the rear board. Front hinge is starting but firm. Prior owner's ink inscription to the recto to the front free endpaper. Internally, firmly bound. Pages are very lightly age-toned with scattered spots, including to the plates, with light discolouration to the fore edges of the plates. Small tidemark to the tail of some plates, never affecting image. Small puncture marks to the gutter of some pages.
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