London: Chapman & Hall, 193, Piccadilly [from 1860], 1866. First Edition thus. Decorative Cloth. New Edition of this collection of literary sketches and reminiscences. Crown 8vo (190 x 121mm): viii,204pp, with frontispiece by G. J. Pinwell. Original green cloth, covers elaborately stamped in blind with publisher's medallion: "The Works of Charles Dickens. Cheap Editions;" spine richly gilt, pale yellow end papers. Terrific bookseller's ticket to corner of rear paste-down. Perhaps a later issue, with the final sketch correctly numbered xxviii (according to Eckel, the final sketch was at first incorrectly numbered xviii). Virtually pristine, soundly bound and clean throughout, gilt bright. Smith II, 11 (see especially note 9). Eckel, pp. 132-34. Jarndyce 560. Flake & Draper 2829a.5. Fine. Item #BB1814
The first seventeen sketches collected here appeared originally in 1860, in All the Year Round and were first published in book form the following year; this is the first appearance of the final eleven sketches. Included among them is reportage (such as an investigation into a shipload of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ready to emigrate in "Bound for the Great Salt Lake"), embroidered descriptions of everyday London life ("The City of the Absent," "City of London Churches," and "Shy Neighbourhoods"), and character sketches ("Tramps") as well as Dickens' characteristic concern for the conditions of the poor ("Wapping Workhouse," "A Small Star in the East," and "Titbull's Alms-Houses"). Beginning in 1847, with the Pickwick Papers, the Cheap Editions were the first systematic reissuing of Dickens's works, each with a new preface by the author. They were issued both in weekly and monthly formats, as well as in single volumes, as here, printed in double columns and illustrated solely with a frontispiece. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).