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Oliver Twist.
  • 105366

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DICKENS, Charles.

Oliver Twist.

In three volumes.

Published: London: Richard Bentley, 1838

Stock code: 105366

Price: £1,950

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First edition, second issue with “Charles Dickens” rather than “Boz” on the title pages and with the Church plate replacing the Fireside plate in the third volume. “When Bentley decided to publish Oliver in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank had to complete the last few plates in haste. Dickens did not review them until the eve of publication and objected to the Fireside plate (‘Rose Maylie and Oliver’ No. 8 in volume three) which depicted Oliver at Rose Maylie’s knee with Harry and old Mrs. Maylie all gathered around the living-room fire. Dickens had Cruikshank design a new plate which retained the same title and showed Rose and Oliver standing before the tablet put up in the church to the memory of Oliver’s mother. This Church plate was not completed in time for incorporation into the early copies of the book, but it replaced the Fireside plate in later copies and was used in Bentley’s Miscellany” (Smith). Dickens had also decided that he would no longer be known as “Boz”; again this decision was too late for the earliest copies, those published between 9 and 16 November. A well-preserved set in contemporary bindings.

3 volumes, octavo (188 x 114 mm). Contemporary dark brown half calf, twin red morocco labels, spines richly gilt in compartments, marbled paper sides with blind rolls, marbled endpapers. Engraved frontispiece to each volume and 21 plates by George Cruikshank. Bound without half-titles; contemporary ownership stamp to each front free endpaper verso; some inked marginalia to Volume 2. Boards slightly rubbed, mild tanning to plates, occasional spotting to text. An excellent set.

Bibliography: Smith 4 (Notes).

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