DICKENS, Charles. Pictures from Italy. London: Bradbury & Evans for the Author, 1846.
8o (174 x 111 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisement at beginning and end. Wood-engraved vignette title and three wood-engravings in the text by Samuel Palmer. (One or two pale stains.) Original blue fine-ribbed cloth, covers decorated in blind with triple fillet, the innermost two of which are intertwined once at each edge with an arabesque design at each inner corner, central blind-stamped oval medallion (65 x 45 mm), spine in five compartments separated by borders of triple fillet, gilt-lettered in two, the others decorated with blind wreath tools, uncut, pale yellow coated endpapers (lightly soiled, spine a bit faded, slight;y cocked, front inner hinge weak, lower inner hinge broken). Provenance: J.C. Simpson (contemporary signature); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
"SUCH ITALIAN CASTLES, BRIGHT IN SUNNY DAYS, AND PALE IN MOONLIGHT NIGHTS, AS I AM BUILDING IN THE AIR" (Dickens, Letter 11 March 1844 to T.J. Johnson)
FIRST EDITION, unrecorded variant issue binding, without comma after "wood" on vignette-title. Reprinting sketches which first appeared in The Daily News between 21 January and 11 March 1846: "On the sixth page of the first number of The Daily News, launched by Dickens, appeared the opening letter of a series of seven written during the Author's stay in Italy. The date was January 21, 1846, all were printed under the comprehensive title: Travelling Sketches -- Written on the Road. Other letters followed in a rather desultory and irregular manner. Shortly after Dickens had laid down the burdens attached to editorial management, the 'Sketches' were reproduced in Pictures from Italy. Five chapters were added and only two out of the twelve retained their first title" (Eckel). Eckel, p. 126; Smith II: 7.