A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843
12mo (167 x 102 mm.), FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY DICKENS IN THE MONTH OF PUBLICATION (“Mrs George Hogg | from Charles Dickens | Christmas 1843”), Todd’s first impression, first issue, with 14-15mm. between closest points of blind-stamping and gold wreath of upper cover, the “D” of Dickens unbroken, the text uncorrected, engraved frontispiece and 3 plates hand-coloured, and 4 woodcuts in the text by John Leech, half-title printed in blue, title-page printed in red and blue, “Stave I” on p., 2pp. of publisher’s advertisements at end, publisher’s cinnamon vertically-waved cloth, stamped in blind and gilt, green endpapers, all edges gilt, collector’s quarter green morocco folding box, first leaves including half-title lightly browned, spine and inner hinges skilfully renewed retaining original backstrip, endpapers rubbed and slightly fading, front endpaper with neat tear at inner margin, slightly bumped
INSCRIBED PRESENTATION COPY OF THE AUTHOR'S MOST WIDELY READ NOVEL, published on 19 December 1843, and selling 6,000 copies in the few days before Christmas; it went on to sell over 2 million copies in America in the next one hundred years. Despite its enormous success at the time and ever since the publication at the same was a financial disaster for Dickens. It was a separate commission requested by him of his publishers Chapman and Hall, with Dickens insisting on a fine coloured binding and endpapers with gilt lettering. Although it went into seven editions by May 1844 almost all the profits were absorbed in the expenses of binding, special papers, coloured plates and advertising, and Dickens found himself overdrawn on his Coutts account, and had to ask his friend Mitton for another loan.
"The book went straight to the heart of the public and has remained lodged there ever since, with its mixture of horror, despair, hope and warmth, its message -- a Christian message -- that even the worst of sinners may repent and become a good man: and its insistence that good cheer, food and drink shared, gifts and even dancing are not merely frivolous pleasures but basic expressions of love and mutual support among all human beings" (Tomalin)
Mrs. George Hogg (presentation inscription)
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.