Dickens, Barnaby Rudge, 1841, first separate edition, presentation copy in presentation binding inscribed to Talfourd
Estimate: 40,000 - 60,000 GBP
Barnaby Rudge; A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty. London: Chapman and Hall, 1841
8vo (252 x 161mm.), FIRST SEPARATE ISSUE, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY DICKENS TO SIR THOMAS NOON TALFOURD on the title ("M. Serjeant Talfourd | From his friend | Charles Dickens |Twenty-Ninth December 1841"), advertisement and preface as called for, illustrations by George Cattermole and Hablot K. Browne, PUBLISHER'S PRESENTATION BINDING BY HAYDAY, full polished calf ruled in gilt, spine gilt with red and green morocco lettering pieces, ink stamp of Chapman and Hall on front free endpaper and binder Hayday on rear free endpaper, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt, collector's red cloth chemise and slipcase, small ink stain on p. 302, minimal spotting, boards with minor soiling and scuffing, bumped
AN EXCEPTIONAL ASSOCIATION COPY inscribed by Dickens to his friend, the writer, judge and politician Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854). Dickens had first seen Talfourd as a barrister in court while reporting on the celebrated Norton v Melbourne case. Although hardly remembered now Talfourd was "an outstanding figure in his day, idealistic, hard-working and effective. The son of a brewer too poor to send him to universtity, he made his own way and by the late 1830s was MP for Reading, standing as a Liberal on the radical side of the party. He had protested against the Peterloo massacre in 1819, supported universal male suffrage and the total abolition of slavery, steered through the bill giving divorced women custody of their young children, and [saw] through the 1842 Copright Act that for the first time protected authors' earnings in England" (Claire Tomalin, Charles Dickens: A Life, p.91). It is hardly surprising that he became such a good friend of Dickens, and to top it off, he was also a playwright, with his republican blank-verse drama Ion performed many times in 1836 and 1837 with Macready in the lead (it was later hailed as a masterpiece in America). Dickens dedicated The Pickwick Papers to Talfourd in 1837 in appreciation of his work on copyright, which remained a strong cause for the author, both in Britain and in America, for the rest of his life. Talfourd was the model for the idealistic Tommy Traddles in David Copperfield, and his children Frank and Kate provided the names for two youngsters in Nicholas Nickleby.
Talfourd and his wife were known for hosting regular dinners attended by the London society elite. Dickens wrote of the sarjeant-at-law, "If there ever was a house … where every art was honoured for its own sake, and where every visitor was received for his own claims and merits, that house was his … Rendering all legitimate deference to rank and riches, there never was a man more composedly, unaffectedly, quietly, immovable by such considerations … On the other hand, nothing would have astonished him so much as the suggestion that he was anyone's patron..." (Dickens, "The late Mr Justice Talfourd," Household Words, 25 March 1854, p.117). Thackerary, Macready, Maclise, Mitford, and Wordsworth were all frequent guests.
This separate first edition of Barnaby Rudge was first published on 15 December, 1841, only two weeks before Dickens’s presented this copy.
Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), presentation inscription from the author; William Wright, celebrated collector of Dickens, his sale at Sotheby's 12 June 1899; De Witt Miller, Forest Glen, Maryland, inscription on rear endpaper; Paul Lemperly (1858-1939), of Cleveland, Ohio, bookplate, inscribed "Merry Christmas, Dear Jake, from Yours, 1902."; Frank Hogan (1877-1944), bookplate, his sale at Parke-Bernet, 24 April 1945, lot 217; The Rosenbach Collection, slip laid-in; Lewis A. Hird, his sale at Parke-Bernet, 17 November 1953, lot 7; Kenyon Starling, bookplate; William E. Self, bookplate, the sale of the family collection at Christie’s New York 2 April, 2008
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.