Mr. Nightingale's Diary: a Farce. In One Act. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1877
16mo (120 x 84mm.), first American edition, ONE OF THE SCARCE COPIES WITH THE ETCHED HAND-COLOURED FRONTISPIECE BY PAILTHORPE, advertisements on endpapers, original brown cloth decorated in black and lettered in gilt, preserved in crushed red morocco gilt slipcase with flap, very minor edge-wear to cloth
In 1851 Dickens had promised to write a farce for his recently formed "Company of Strolling Players", set up to support the Guild of Literature and Art, but his busy schedule initially prevented him from completing it. Instead his friend Mark Lemon, editor of Punch, composed the first draft; Dickens' amendments in rehearsal, however, were such that the play is now considered as much his own. It was first performed, with some success, at Devonshire House on 16 May 1851, with the cast including Dickens, Lemon and Wilkie Collins. The first edition was privately printed for Dickens and is known in only a few copies worldwide. This 1877 American edition is in effect the first available edition, and is rare with the colour frontispiece by Pailthorpe, present in a few copies.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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