1861. first edition. First Edition of Great Expectations in the Original Cloth With an Autograph Letter Signed by the Dedicatee Tipped-in DICKENS, Charles. Great Expectations. In Three Volumes. Vol. I. [II. III.] London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.First edition in book form, mixed issue.Three octavo volumes (7 3/4 x 4 13/16 inches; 197 x 123 mm.). [i-iv], , 2-344; [ii],  2-351 [1, imprint]; [ii], , 2-344, -32, catalogue dated August 1861, pp. With all of the internal flaws for the first issue of volume I as called for by Smith, many of the internal flaws in volume II, and four of his first issue points in volume III. All three volumes with the first issue title-pages. Small stain on E1 (page 49) of volume II just affecting three letters.Publisher's moderate violet wavy-grain cloth, covers with blind-stamped borders enclosing a decorative rectangular panel stamped in blind, spines lettered in gilt, yellow-coated end-papers. Some light rubbing to extremities, minimal fading to spines, hinges professionally and almost invisibly restored, but the original cloth entirely untouched. Volume I very slightly skewed. Feint trace of Mudies Select Library ticket removal from top boards. Overall an exceptionally clean, fresh and bright copy of a title that is notoriously rare in unsophisticated presentable condition. With the armorial bookplate of Eugene Field on front paste-down of each volume. The front paste-down of volume I additionally has a clipped signature "Charles Dickens", clipped signature "Eugene Field/Chicago, June 26, 1893." and the rectangular blue leather bookplate of collector Dr. George Staehle (1925-2008). Each volume chemised in a half olive green morocco over green cloth board slipcase, spines with five raised bands, elaborately tooled and lettered in gilt in compartments.This copy belonged to author Eugene Field, and each volume has his bookplate on the front pastedown. Additionally, there is an ink note on the rear free endpaper of volume I by his son, Eugene Field, II: This is the first issue set of Great Expectations coming from the library of my father, Eugene Field. Nov. 1 - 1931 Eugene Field II (This statement by Field, II no longer reflects the current bibiographical scholarship on this title).Tipped-in to volume I is a two-page autograph letter signed by The Reverend Chauncy [Chauncey] Hare Townshend (1798-1868), clergyman and poet, to whom Dickens dedicated this book. The letter is dated Keswick. 16th April. 1932. and is addressed to a Mr. George Robins [?], concerning the sale of 'Baynard', Chauncy Hare Townshend's country house.Townshend and Dickens were close friends and Townshend even appointed Dickens his literary executor upon his death in 1868. In the 1830s Townshend studied mesmerism, and was the chief British exponent of the art after Dr. John Elliotson and published two books and some articles and letters on the subject. Elliotson introduced Townshend to Charles Dickens, who also had an interest in mesmerism, and the two became lifelong friends. Townshend's volume of poetry The Three Gates (1859) was dedicated to Dickens, who in turn dedicated Great Expectations (1861) to Townshend; Dickens gave Townshend the original manuscript of the novel, and also his crystal ball.Though the first edition of Great Expectations in book form went through five rapid issues, all copies of the first edition are excessively rare, as very few copies were printed at all, due to the saturation-level readership of the novel during its serialization in All the Year Round. Additionally, the circulating libraries immediately seized a large portion of the copies that were printed. One of only two Dickens novels never issued in monthly partsthe typical method since Pickwick Great Expectations is also one of only two of his novels whose first editions werent illustrated (in both cases, Hard Times is the other). Great Expectations first appeared in England in the pages of Dickenss popular magazine, All the Year Round, beginning on December 1, 1860 (though two American magazines, Harpers Weekly and the American All the Year Round began serializing it slightly earlier, technically jeopardizing Dickenss British copyright). Great Expectations originally appeared in thirty-six weekly numbers of All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 through 3 August 1861. It appeared in the three-volume book form on July 6, 1861 This first edition was followed by four other so-called editions (actually issues) on August 5, August 17, September 21, and October 30. These first five were probably printed at a single impression and published with altered title-pages to imply and encourage a rapid sale. (The words announcing the edition are printed between the volume number and the imprint.) In all five issues, the same misprints persist. The genuine second edition was the one-volume Library Edition with Chapman and Hall published in 1862 (Smith, pp. 103-104, note 3).The rarity of the first issue of Great Expectations has been attributed to the probable small binding-up of copies with the first titlepage, coupled with the fact (according to C.P. Johnson, Hints to Collectors, p. 33, and others later) that the first edition was almost entirely taken up by the libraries. Patten, pp. 290-92, states that 1,000 copies of the first issue and 750 of the second were printed and that probably most of the first and more than half of the second (1400) copies in all) were purchased by Mudies Select Library (Smith I, p. 104, note 5). Smith I, 14. Eckel, pp. 91-93. Gimbel A146. (Inventory #: 03957)
English, American and European Literature, Children's Books, Color-Plate Books, Illustrated Books, Early Printed Books, Private Press Books, Fine Bindings, Original Artwork, High Spot Modern First Editions.
Shipping & Return Policies
We will extend to you a 48-hour approval period on all items that are purchased sight unseen. If you are not completely satisfied with the item simply contact us within 48 hours after receipt, and then return it in the same condition you received it for a full refund, less freight charges, or any related costs including credit card transactions, taxes, and duties levied, especially when returning from other countries.
You can be confident that when you make a purchase through ABAA.org, the item is sold by an ABAA member in full compliance with our Code of Ethics. Our sellers guarantee your order will be shipped promptly and that all items are as described. Buy with confidence through ABAA.org.