DICKENS, Charles.

Barnaby Rudge.

Philadelphia: Lea and Blanchard, 1842 [i.e. 1841] Stock Code: 143156
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Inscribed by the author during his visit to the United States

First US edition in book form, inscribed by the author on his first visit to America on the vignette title page: "George Morris from Charles Dickens New York. First June 1842".

The recipient was the noted American journalist and poet George Pope Morris (1802-1864), editor and founder of various papers including the New-York Mirror and Ladies' Literary Gazette, which published the writings of many of the best authors of the day including Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dickens himself. Dickens had first met Morris earlier that February, writing to his friend John Forster that at a grand ball in New York he was "waited upon" by Morris "in the full dress uniform of Heaven knows what regiment of militia", most probably in his role as Brigadier-General in the New York State Militia (Letters, Pilgrim Edition, vol. III, p. 71). On 1 June 1842, Dickens inscribed to Morris six known copies of his books, all once offered together in the Rosenbach catalogue of English Literature in November 1913, and since dispersed.

Dickens's US visit was by no means successful, as the author was furious at the piracy of his works by American publishers, and his public criticism of their practices led to the condemnation of Dickens by various newspapers. He nonetheless gathered material which he worked into his survey of the country, American Notes, published later that year.

This first US book form edition of Barnaby Rudge was published on 20 December 1841, with the title page postdated 1842. It had originally been serialized in 19 parts by Lea and Blanchard between 12 March and 18 December 1841. The publisher's paid Dickens a set fee for the advance sheets of each English number, first published from February to November that year.

Provenance: Sotheby's 24 November 1927, sold to the noted Dickens' collector the Comte Alain de Suzannet (with his bookplate to the front pastedown and inner chemise); sold in his sale at Sotheby's, 22 November 1971, lot 62, to Francis Edwards; re-appearing at the sale of the collection of Neville L. Fakes at Sotheby's, 11 July 2002, lot 212; and again at the Sotheby's sale of the Lawrence Drizen Charles Dickens Collection, 24 September 2019, lot 79.

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Octavo. Original brown cloth, spine lettered with vignette in gilt, covers blocked in blind, plain endpapers. Housed in a custom green half morocco slipcase and chemise.


Engraved title, frontispiece and 14 engravings after Cattermole, H. K. Browne and Sibson by J. Yaeger, numerous woodcut illustrations throughout text.


Very light wear at extremities, a couple of gatherings a little sprung, light bumping, occasional slight browning to contents. A very good copy.


Smith, Charles Dickens: A Bibliography of His First American Editions, p. 184.


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