Great Expectations. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1861
8vo (163 x 118mm.), 2 volumes, half-titles, original printed wrappers, collector’s folding box, some spotting and browning, some professional repairs to wrappers, some staining to wrappers, library stamps
The firm of Bernhard Tauchnitz was founded in 1837 and his ‘Collection of British Authors’ commenced in 1841. At a time of little copyright protection, Tauchnitz obtained authorization from authors to print their works in English and Dickens was one of the first: Pickwick, Oliver and American Notes had appeared before the end of 1842. On 22 December 1860 Dickens wrote to Tauchnitz: “I cannot consent to name the sum you shall pay for Great Expectations. I have too great a regard for you, and too high a sense of your honorable dealing, to wish to depart from the custom we have always observed. Whatever price you put upon it will satisfy me. You have always proposed the terms yourself, on former occasions, and I entreat you to do so now”. He returned a signed agreement to Tauchnitz on 14 January 1861. The text was set from advance sheets of the serial issue in All the Year Round.
Simon Nowell-Smith notes a “shockingly bad habit” of Baron Tauchnitz and “a habit that neither he nor his son ever grew out of”. Apparently reprints and even later revised editions would continue to carry the date of first publication on the title-page and “the wrappers of a Tauchnitz volume often advertise books published years after the title-page date” (see Simon Nowell-Smith, ‘Firma Tauchnitz 1837-1900’, The Book Collector, Winter 1966, pp. 423-436). The wrappers in the present copy appear to correspond to an 1861 date, however. Great Expectations is the most recent Dickens work listed and other listed books include Bulwer Lytton’s A Strange Story from 1861 (volume 569), Collins’ The Woman in White from 1860 (volume 525), Eliot’s Silas Marner from 1861 (volume 550), Gaskell’s Lois the Witch and other tales from 1860 (volume 541), Thackeray’s The Virginians from 1858 (volume 425) and Trollope’s Framley Parsonage from 1861 (volume 551).
Todd and Bowden, Tauchnitz International Editions in English, pp. 133
Fürstin [?Leontine] Fürstenberg, ownership signatures on upper wrappers; Furstenberg Court Library at Donaueschingen, library stamps
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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