The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit. London: Chapman and Hall, 1844
8vo (224 x 142mm.), FIRST BOOK EDITION, frontispiece, vignette title and 38 other illustrations by H.K. Browne ("Phiz"), vignette title signed "Phiz fecit" with reversed "100£" on signpost (Smith's state 1, no priority), 14-line errata on p.xv as usual (Smith's second setting), original blue diagonally-ribbed cloth, upper and lower covers stamped in blind with central oval with sawtooth, maze-like projections, spine stamped in blind and lettered in gilt, pale yellow endpapers, upper hinge previously repaired and starting, offsetting to frontispiece and vignette title, some further occasional spotting, minor wear to corners of binding, slight scuff to lower cover
FIRST BOOK EDITION OF THE NOVEL WHICH DICKENS THOUGHT "IN A HUNDRED POINTS IMMEASURABLY THE BEST OF MY STORIES" (J. Forster, The Life of Charles Dickens, 1928, p.305).
Martin Chuzzlewit was published in monthly parts from 31 December 1842 to 30 June 1844, and this first book edition appeared on 16 July 1844. This is the great transitional novel that "leads from the dazzling farce and comedy of humours ... and the picaresque pleasures of the early fiction to the complex, resonant, carefully planned and structured masterpieces of Dickens's later years." (Michael Slater, Oxford DNB).
Smith I: 7; Eckel, pp. 71-73
Robert Ormston Lamb (b.1836, Chairman of the Cramlington and Seaton Delval coal companies in Northumberland from 1859 until his death in 1912), of Temon, Cumberland, armorial bookplate
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