DICKENS, CHARLES. 1812-1870.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby. London: Chapman and Hall, April 1838-October 1839.
20 parts in 19. 8vo (222 x 135 mm). Engraved frontispiece portrait by Maclise, and 39 engraved plates by H.K. Browne ("Phiz"). Original green pictorial wrappers. Custom slipcase. Part 9 plate with tiny edge repair, few erased or faint ownership inscriptions, some parts with expert rebacking or repair to backstrips, overall a fine and unusually fresh copy.
Provenance: Sir Hugh Walpole (Brackenburn bookplate to chemise).
Exhibited: Grolier Club, 'Essential Parts,' 1996, p 14.
THE WALPOLE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS, FIRST ISSUE with plates in parts 1 & 2 bearing publishers' imprint, "visiter" for "sister" on p 123 of part 4, "latter" for "letter" on p 160 of part 5, and publishers' imprint on portrait in part 19/20. Second steel of plate 29 in part 15, "Nicholas makes his first visit...," with short title (no priority). Advertisements conforming to Hatton & Cleaver but without 2 pp "Heads of the People" ad at back of part 8, with Tyas ad on white instead of yellow paper at back of part 12, and with 2 pp ad not mentioned at back of part 19/20, for Tyas/Christian Library. With the "Hill's Seal Wafers" complete with all specimen seals.
"Dickens was a busy twenty-five year old in 1837. While the final number of Pickwick was quickly being bought up from the bookseller's stalls, and Oliver Twist was highlighting the pages of Bentley's Miscellany, the young novelist signed a contract in November with Chapman and Hall to produce a manuscript for another serial tale beginning the following March. The new work was published in the same manner and form as Pickwick, but Dickens received ten times the amount per numbera healthy £150as he received for his first novel. The first number, which appeared in April 1838, sold over 48,000 copies.... Nicholas Nickleby clearly shows Dickens's maturing power.... With the good-natured yet temperamental Nickleby providing the story's dramatic center, Dickens learned how to weave parallel plots into a unified structure, completing his transition from journalist to novelist." (Grolier Essential Parts p 14.) Eckel pp 64-66; Hatton & Cleaver pp 131-160; Yale/Gimbel A40.
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