• The William E. Self Library, I auction at Christies

    Sale 2153

    The William E. Self Library, Important English and American Literature

    4 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 73

    DICKENS, Charles. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.

    Price Realised  


    DICKENS, Charles. The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. A Fancy for Christmas-Time. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1848.

    8o (162 x 102 mm). 2-page publisher's advertisements at beginning. Engraved frontispiece and additional title on toned grounds by Martin & Corbould after John Tenniel, wood-engraved illustrations by Martin & Corbould, Thomas Williams, Smith & Cheltnam, and Dalziel after Tenniel, Clarkson Stanfield, Frank Stone, and John Leech. Original red fine-ribbed cloth, covers with decorative blind border, surrounding central gilt cartouche and lettering on upper, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, all edges gilt (light wear to spine ends, a few faint stains to sides); quarter morocco slipcase and cloth chemise. Provenance: SIR THOMAS NOON TALFOURD (1795-1854), writer, judge, politician, M.P. from Reading and close friend of Dickens (presentation inscription from the author); William K. Bixby (bookplate); Comte Alain de Suzannet (bookplate, his sale, Sotheby's, 22 November 1971, lot 97).


    FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY DICKENS TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND on the fly title: "T.N. Talfourd From his friend Charles Dickens Fourteenth December 1848."

    AN OUTSTANDING ASSOCIATION COPY: inscribed by Dickens to his close friend, Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, to whom the Pickwick Papers was dedicated. In 1833, Talfourd accepted the post of sarjeant-at-law and quickly became a prominent member of the Oxford circuit and of London society, noted for his dinner parties and the exceptional guests who would attend at his home in 56 Russell Square, London. The dinners that he and his wife hosted included regular guests Douglas William Jerrold, William Makepeace Thackeray, William Charles Macready, Daniel Maclise, John Forster, and Talfourd's old friend from Reading, Mary Russell Mitford. Dickens was particularly fond of Talfourd, modeling the character of the idealistic Tommy Traddles in David Copperfield after him. Dickens wrote of him: "If there ever was a house where every art was honoured for its own sake, and where every visitor was received for his own claims and merits, that house was his rendering all legitimate deference to rank and riches, there never was a man more composedly, unaffectedly, quietly, immovable by such considerations... On the other hand, nothing would have astonished him so much as the suggestion that he was anyone's patron" (Dickens, "The late Mr Justice Talfourd," Household Words, 25 March 1854, p.117).

    In 1837, encouraged by Wordsworth, Talfourd delivered a celebrated speech introducing the Copyright Act. Dickens applauded this act by dedicating the Pickwick Papers to him in 1837. Talfourd is perhaps best-remembered for his poetic tragedy, Ion, written after he was elected to Parliament. "He had circulated the play privately to influential individuals, including Wordsworth, Robert Southey, and Gladstone, which ensured that the theatre was packed with the most distinguished audience contemporary reviewers could remember, including Dickens, Robert Browning, Walter Savage Landor, Pitt, Melbourne, Lord Chief Justice Denman, Lord Grey, and Lady Blessington. Ion caused a sensation and remained popular for many years" (Oxford National Biography). Eckel pp.124-125; Smith II:9.

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