DICKENS, Charles. A Christmas Carol. London: Chapman and Hall, 1843.
Small 8° (164 x 99mm). Title printed in red and blue, imprint on title verso in blue. 4 finely hand-coloured etched plates after J. Leech, including frontispiece, 4 wood-engravings by W.J. Linton after Leech. Original reddish-brown cloth, gilt wreath on front cover, gilt edges, green glazed endpapers (light sunfading to spine), modern red cloth box. Provenance: [Wright, bookseller to the Queen (label on front pastedown)] -- W. Hunt (19th-century pencil signature).
FIRST EDITION, FINE COPY. Eckel's first issue. Calhoun and Heaney's first issue with uncorrected text and "Stave I" as the first chapter heading; their second state with green endpapers. Binding in William B. Todd's "first impression, second issue, first state" with interval of 12-13mm. between blind-stamping left margin and gilt wreath, and "D" of "Dickens" perfect. Dickens's first and most celebrated Christmas book, with Scrooge as is central character, was published 19 December, 1843, at 5s. 'Its popularity was extraordinary and by every post he received letters from complete strangers, telling him about their home and hearths, and how this same 'Carol' was read aloud there, and kept on a little shelf by itself' (Kitton, Minor Writings, p. 34). It ran through fourteen editions between 1843 and 1860, with the text comparatively unchanged and printed from the same original setting of type. VERY RARE IN THIS SPLENDID CONDITION. Eckel pp. 110-115; Gimbel A79 (sixth copy); Smith III, 4.