2 April 2008
DICKENS, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Chapman and Hall, 1859.
8 parts in 7, 8o (224 x 143 mm). Etched frontispiece, title and 14 plates by Hablot K. Browne ["Phiz"]. (Soft creasing to upper corners of parts 3-6.) Original blue-green pictorial wrappers (a few small repairs to spines, rear wrapper of final part with small repair along edge, part 4 with small hole along spine, otherwise fine, colors fresh and bright); tan quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Lewis A. Hird (bookplate in slipcase chemise; his sale Parke-Bernet, 17 November 1953, lot 144); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL MONTHLY PARTS, FIRST ISSUE of parts 7/8 with page 213 numbered "113", preceded by the weekly publication in All the Year Round. "Tale of Two Cities Advertiser" present in each part and other inserted advertisements as listed in Hatton and Cleaver, including the scarce "Cornhill Advertiser" in the final part, the back ad to part 3 is "The Morisonian Monument" substituted for "The British College of Health" (as at Texas and in the Sawyer copy viewed by Eckel).
A Tale of Two Cities marks the last time Hablot K. Browne was to illustrate a work by Dickens. After a twenty-three year association, the quality of his work had begun to deteriorate and their relationship was severed. It also marks the last time Dickens worked with Bradbury and Evans, before his return to Chapman and Hall for Our Mutual Friend. SCARCE IN THE ORIGINAL PARTS. Eckel, pp.86-90; Hatton & Cleaver, pp.331-42. A VERY FRESH AND BRIGHT SET.
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