Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861, first edition, first impression, original cloth
Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861, first edition, first impression, original cloth
Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861, first edition, first impression, original cloth
188

Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861, first edition, first impression, original cloth

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Dickens, Great Expectations, 1861, first edition, first impression, original cloth

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot Sold:175,000GBP

Lot Details

Description

DICKENS, CHARLES

Great Expectations. London: Chapman & Hall, 1861


8vo (197 x 120mm.), 3 volumes, FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE IN BOOK FORM, 32pp. publisher’s catalogue at end of volume III (dated May 1861), original publisher’s violet wavy-grain cloth with floral decoration in blind on covers and spines lettered in gilt, yellowish white endpapers, collector’s chemise and green morocco folding box by Riviere, some very occasional and very minor spotting, spines very slightly discoloured, very minor soiling to lower board of volume I, slight splitting to joints of volume III, wear to folding box


AN EXCEPTIONAL COPY OF THE RARE FIRST ISSUE OF THE FIRST EDITION OF GREAT EXPECTATIONS, IN WHICH ALL FIRST STATE POINTS ARE PRESENT.


"Great Expectations ... is altogether something different. It did not come from research or the theatre but out of a deep place in Dickens's imagination which he never chose to explain...It is set, like so many of his books, in the period of his own childhood and youth...Great Expectations is not a realistic account of how the world was but a visionary novel, close to ballad or folk tale... The story begins in terror..." (Claire Tomalin, Charles Dickens. A Life, p.310)


The publication of Great Expectations as a three volume set was unique within Dickens’ works. As noted by Peter Ackroyd this was “designed to cater for the growing library trade” and “Mudie’s, the great exponent of the circulating library, took most of the first edition”. Smith comments that “the rarity of the first issue of Great Expectations has been attributed to the probable small binding-up of copies with the first title-page, coupled with the fact (according to C.P. Johnson, Hints to Collectors…) 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 copies 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 Mudie’s Select Library”.


There are two issue points within volume III which are present here and recorded within the Clarendon edition of Great Expectations as “missing in some copies”. Given that these two points relate to the loss of type, these two examples suggest this present copy is one of the earliest printed within the issue.


This set includes the first issue points as follows:


Volume I: no edition statement on title-page, 5.9 unbroken comma after “man”, 17.26 broken “i” in “sides”, 35.25 single not double inverted comma at start of line, 42.5 full stop after “robbery” present, 44.1 broken “m” in “mince-pie”, 52.13 unbroken “W” in “Wopsle”, 52.15 “f” in “of” aligned correctly, 93.1 “b” in “by” undamaged, 140.2 unbroken “t” in “went”, 160.12 “f” in “of” undamaged, 179.9 comma at end of line undamaged, 180.16 comma after “mentioning” undamaged, 201.19 exclamation mark present, 203.4 faint inked space between “no” and “one”, 206.6 end of line hypen present, 208.4 dot of “i” in “in” present, 237.10 end of line comma undamaged, 246.23 “h” of “how” present, 257.3 no inked spaces, 259.7 capital “I” for “In”, 284.headline faint “C” in “EXPECTATIONS”, 284.2 full-stop at end of line undamaged, 299.27 comma at end of line undamaged


Volume II: no edition statement on title-page, 3.24 full-stop at end of line undamaged, 8.headline full-stop present, 13.22 “d” in “guardian” damaged, 48.headline full-stop present, 84.24 broken “j” in “sub- | ject”, 187.16 full-stop present after “gloomily”, 205.20 “to get” (later printed as “gto et”), 213.25 hypen at end of line undamaged, 230.17 “hi” in “everything” undamaged, 231.8 “w” in “with” undamaged, 278.21 damage to “f”, “i” and “n” in “friend” and lacking full-stop, 282.3 faint inked space between “seemed” and “hardly”, 291.26 “ng” in “nothing” damaged, 348.1 “k” in “drink-”


Volume III: no edition statement on title-page, 19.24 “s” in “Jaggers” damaged, 39.5 inked space between “you” and “feel”, 56.14 “f” in “of” damaged, 103 page number present (only “missing in some copies”), 150.4 “w” in “waywardness” undamaged, 166.14 “l” in “longer” undamaged, 173.26 “theres” (later corrected to “there’s”), 192.11-12 “himself | very” present, 193.23 “i” in “inflexible” present (only “missing in some copies”), 193.foot middle “I” in “III” faint, 195.2 first inverted comma very faint, 217.3 semi-colon undamaged, 200.16 hypen at end of line faint, 236.headline no full stop, 240.11 faint inked space between “roaring” and “curses”, 291.25 “h” and “d” in “hand” faint, 293.1 comma present


REFERENCE:

Eckel, pp. 91-93; Smith II:14; Great Expectations (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993, Appendix D)

Condition Report

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.

Charles Dickens: The Lawrence Drizen Collection
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