London, South Kensington
1 June 2009
[DICKENS, Charles]. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Chapman and Hall, June-December 1859.
8 parts in 7, 8° (225 x 137mm). Etched frontispiece, additional title and 14 plates by and after H.K. Browne. (One plate in pt 6 with marginal tear touching on caption, plate list frayed at margins.) Original blue-green pictorial wrappers by Browne (browning to front wrapper of pt 1 and back wrapper to pts 7/8, spine of pt 2 worn, others a little chipped at head and more so at foot), green morocco slipcase (rubbed, spine faded to brown).
SCARCE FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PARTS. First issue of parts 7/8 with p. 213 misnumbered "113". Dickens's historical novel was inspired by Carlyle's French Revolution (1837) in its analysis of causes and description of the savagery unleashed, and the cover design cleverly divides the action between London and Paris. It is the last novel to have been illustrated by 'Phiz' and marked the return of Chapman and Hall as Dickens's publishers. It also appeared simultaneously in the first thirty-two numbers of All the Year Round. AN INTERNALLY CLEAN, UNSOPHISTCATED COPY. Eckel pp. 86-90: "exceeded in scarcity only by Pickwick and Sketches by Boz with Oliver Twist a good fourth'; Hatton and Cleaver pp. 331-342; Gimbel A142. (7)
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