books & manuscripts
A Christmas Carol
Chapman & Hall
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Third-edition copy of Dickens' classic children's Christmas tale.
This was the last edition published in the same year as the original issue, which was done on Christmas Eve. By the end of the next year (1844), 13 editions had been printed.
According to John Eckel, A Christmas Carol was published on December 19, 1843, and sold 6,000 copies on the first day. Before the end of the year, eleven days later, it was in the third edition, with the combined number of copies of the second and third editions being estimated at only two to three thousand copies. This means that the second and third editions were at least two to three times scarcer than the first.
Regarded as Dickens' most widely read novel and considered to be "the greatest Christmas book ever written in any language" (Eckel p. 116), selling more than 6,000 copies in the few days leading up to Christmas. The work was extravagantly costly as Dickens for the first time (and incidentally his last) used color in the title page and etchings, as he wanted to make the book a beautiful gift and to be a celebration of the Christmas spirit. After the initial success, Dickens continued the series throughout the 1840s, maintaining "the Carol" philosophy to "strike a sledgehammer blow" for the poor, uneducated and repressed.
Spine relined with the original cloth spine laid down.
Contemporary ownership signature to front blank endleaf dated 1843.
Wear and rubbing to binding consistent with age and use.
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