London: Chapman & Hall, 193, Piccadilly [from 1853], n. d. First Edition. Decorative Cloth. Early Issue (with Chapman & Hall imprint on both engraved and letterpress title pages and the firm's new (as of 1852) address, 193 Piccadilly) in the original cloth. Thick 8vo: xvi, 624pp, with frontispiece, title-page vignette, and 38 full-page plates (one plate, "The Morning," bound in upside down). Publisher's olive-green fine-diaper cloth, Smith’s later issue secondary binding with chain design in blind within triple-ruled borders in blind to covers; spine in five blind-paneled compartments, the second and fourth lettered in gilt; pale yellow coated end papers. Shows all three typographical errors typically associated with the first edition: p. 19, line 6: "elgble"; p. 209, line 23: "chair" instead of "hair"; and p. 275, line 22: "counsinship" instead of "cousinship." A bright, clean copy with virtually pristine pages and plates and superb impressions of the dark plates, quite exceptional. Smith 10. Eckel, pp. 79-81 ("The value of a copy would depend largely on whether the impressions [of the "Dark Plates"] are good or bad. The better the impression the greater the surety of an earlier plate and printing."). Podeschi (Gimbel Collection) A131. Grolier Dickens, pp. 128-29. Sadleir I 682. Wolff II 1795a. Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone 25. Near Fine+. Item #BB1961
Originally published in 20 numbers, bound in 19 monthly parts, the last forming a double number. First edition in book form published September 12, 1853. Dickens's ninth novel and one of his finest. Often considered the first true detective novel, Bleak House revolves around the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce and its almost infinitely slow progress through the Court of Chancery, finally ending in the terrible farce of the considerable estate in dispute being swallowed up in lawyers's fees. "In a recent critical assessment (Dickens Redressed: The Art of Bleak House and Hard Times), Alexander Welsh refers to Bleak House as being 'an impressive work of montage, which ought by now to have earned Dickens the reputation of composing in 1852-53 a distinctly modernist text'. This is part of a fairly recent shift in the interpretation of Dickens's work which sees it anticipating the novels of Joyce, Faulkner, Conrad, and other major figures in literary modernism. . . . [W]hat Welsh has particularly in mind is the double narrative structure of Bleak House in which the telling of the story is divided between two narrators, one the eighteen year old Esther Summerson, the other an impersonal third-person voice." (Literary Encyclopedia) 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.