Master Humphrey's Clock. London: Chapman and Hall, April 1840-December 1841
8vo (265 x 175mm.), FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, IN ORIGINAL WEEKLY 88 PARTS, wood-engraved illustrations by G. Cattermole and H.K. Browne, with front matter (title, preface and frontispieces) to parts 26, 52 and 88, the "Address to the Readers ..." in Parts 9, 80-83, and 87; the latter number includes postscript, original white pictorial wrappers, green cloth collector's folding box lettered on spine in gilt, minor browning and spotting, creasing, some with wrappers expertly restored, with neat restoration at backstrip, those not restored often with wrappers detached, chipping to fore-edge, some soiling to wrappers (particularly parts 7 and 32), parts 51, 60, 66, 69, 80, with three small pinholes through inner margins, parts 51 and 69 with loss to inner margin of one leaf, part 51 with more concentrated chipping including minor loss to leaves and lower wrapper
"Of the four issues the weekly one is difficult to obtain in a clean condition, and is therefore the costliest" (Eckel). Master Humphrey's Clock was one of the first works in which Dickens introduced weekly issues. In a letter he outlined his plans "to write amusing essays on the various foibles of the day as they arise; to take advantage of passing events; and to vary the form of the papers by throwing them into sketches, letters from imaginary correspondents, and so forth, so as to diversify the contents as much as possible." The publication was announced via advertisement in the Examiner which read that "Master Humphrey's Clock" would strike one on April 4th. Master Humphrey's Clock includes the two novels The Old Curiosity Shop and Barnaby Rudge.
Eckel, pp. 61-65; Hatton & Cleaver, p. 163-182.
Miss Hamlet, Denham Court, ownership signature on upper wrapper parts 2-12, 14-47; J.C. Hamilton, ownership signature on upper wrapper on parts 84, 85, 87
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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