DICKENS, CHARLES, EDITOR
Household Words. A Weekly Journal. Conducted by Charles Dickens. London: Bradbury and Evans for Office, 16, Wellington Street, North, Volume I. 30 March to 21 September 1850—Volume Xix, 4 December 1858 to 28 May 1859
8vo (235 x 156mm.), 19 volumes (all published), first edition in book form, original green cloth decorated in blind, spines lettered in gilt, occasional very slight spotting, endpaper of volume II conjoined to paste-down (very minor tear to edge), minor fading to spines of some volumes, minor bumping to corners, a few slight marks or scratches to spines, STILL AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE SET
Dickens launched Household Words in March 1850, and it was soon selling 40,000 copies a week. Bradbury and Evans had a quarter share, Forster an eighth and Dickens a half. Dickens contributed around 100 stories and articles in the first three years. “He set out to raise standards of journalism in the crowded field of periodical publication and, by winning educated readers and speaking to their consciences, to exert some influence on public matters; and to this end he himself wrote on many social issues – housing, sanitation, education, accidents in factories, workhouses, and in defence of the right of the poor to enjoy Sunday as they chose” (Claire Tomalin, Charles Dickens: A Life, p.229). Later, in 1855, he wrote a series of articles on government, building on his view that merit and efficiency were passed over in public appointments in favour of party and family influences. Other contributions included the serialization of Hard Times, an anonymous piece on his Home for Homeless Women, which he established with his close friend Baroness Angela Burdett Coutts, and his own ‘Personal Statement’ on his separation from his wife Catherine (this also appeared in The Times, though Punch refused it, leading to a quarrel with its editor, Dickens’ longtime friend and fellow actor Mark Lemon).
Leonard James Williams, armorial bookplates
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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