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    Sale 1981

    The William E. Self Family Collection Part I The Kenyon Starling Library Of Charles Dickens

    2 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 136

    DICKENS, Charles. David Copperfield. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1849-50.

    Price Realised  


    DICKENS, Charles. David Copperfield. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1849-50.

    20 parts in 19, 8o (223 x 143 mm). Engraved frontispiece, title and 38 plates after Hablot K. Browne ["Phiz"]. (First two text leaves in part 12 with slightest dust soiling in lower corner, 2F6 in part 14 with palest marginal stain, last few leaves of part 17 with some minor spotting, soft vertical crease to parts 16 and 17, otherwise very clean and fresh.) Original printed blue-green pictorial wrappers (some very skillfully rebacked to match, a few short repaired tears at edges); green cloth folding case. Provenance: Kenyon Starling (bookplate).


    FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS, wrappers of parts 10, 12 and 14 with 3½ lines below heading (most likely mistranscribed by Hatton & Cleaver), with the "Copperfield Advertiser" in each part and all ads listed by Hatton & Cleaver. Including the scarce "Lett's Diaries" ad in part 8 with six accompanying specimen leaves ("It is more often than not a missing quantity," Hatton & Cleaver); part 8 also with additional ad at front "New Illustrated Work by John Leech" on green paper; 4-page version of the "Working Man's Library" ad in part 12. Hatton and Cleaver note that the number of advertisements is fewer in David Copperfield than in any of Dickens's other works issued in 19 parts.

    David Copperfield was Dickens's eighth novel, written at the midpoint of Dickens's career and very much drawing on the author's own life. It is considered to be the novel that divides Dickens's early works from his later. The novel is scarce in parts. As Eckel notes, the printing was comparatively small, the parts were "much read and roughly handled," and "fine, clean and unrepaired copies" were "difficult to procure" even in 1932. Hatton & Cleaver, pp.253-272; Sadleir 686; Yale/Gimbel A121.

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