[DICKENS, Charles]. Bleak House. London: Bradbury and Evans, March 1852-September 1853.
20 parts in 19, 8° (223 x 140mm). Frontispiece, additional title and 38 plates by Hablot K. Browne. Advertisements include "The Village Pastor" in part 15, and 6 additional one-page end advertisements on blue paper in parts 9, 12, 15, 17-19, not called for by Hatton and Cleaver. Part 3 with New London Weekly Newspaper advertisement in duplicate. Part 9 with note stating "An accident having happened to one of the plates, it has been necessary to cancel one of the illustrations". (Plates heavily browned, front advertisements in part 5 misbound.) Original blue pictorial wrappers by Browne, a few quires unopened (some front wrappers a little frayed at edges, rebacking and repairs to spines). Provenance: C.J. Rawlinson (contemporary signature on pt 3).
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PARTS. This novel contains ten "Dark Plates" which required two distinct etchings, "machine-tinting" of the steels giving an effect equivalent to mezzotinting. Phiz's other plates were largely, if not entirely produced, by a new method of lithographic transfers from the steels. In both cases, they have proved susceptible to browning. Dickens alternates third-person present tense narration with a first-person past tense one by Esther Summerson, and the plot concerning the secret of her parentage provides "a panoramic view of English society and institutions, from the Dedlocks with their great country house of Chesney Wold, to the London slum of Tom-all-Alone's, using the Court of Chancery, where the seemingly interminable case of 'Jarndyce and Jarndyce' is heard, as a centre" (Dickens Index). Eckel pp. 79-81; Hatton and Cleaver pp. 275-304; Gimbel A102. (19)