Great Expectations. New York: James G. Gregory, 1861
8vo (182 x 115mm.), 2 volumes, EARLY AMERICAN EDITION, half-titles, frontispiece illustrations, original publisher’s dark green calico-texture cloth with gilt design on upper covers of ‘C.D.’ entwined with ‘BOZ’ in triple circular rules, spines lettered in gilt, pale yellow endpapers, collector’s black slipcase, very slight browning, slight bubbling to cloth
An early American edition of Great Expectations, published within the uniform ‘Household Edition’, but issued separately. The publisher, James G. Gregory, was the first to register copyright on 26 August 1861 (Peterson followed on 8 November 1861 with Harpers on 15 November 1861). These dates led John M. Dundek to state ‘there is a new claimant to the title of first American book edition of Great Expectations’ (see The Book Collector, Summer 1994, p. 298). Smith, however, notes that ‘the fact of publication is established not by the registration of a title or by the deposit of a copy of the book in the Library of Congress or elsewhere, but by the evidence of copies being sold, or openly offered for sale, to the public’. Evidence suggests that Peterson’s edition was being sold by July 1861 and Gregory’s edition wasn’t available until 14 September.
Smith, First American Editions, pp. 379-80; Gimbel D38, John M. Dundek, ‘Note 551. A new first American edition of Great Expectations’, The Book Collector, Summer 1994, pp. 298-99.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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