[GAD'S HILL PLACE -- AUCTION CATALOGUE]. NORTON, TRIST, WATNEY & Co. Higham, Near Rochester. Kent. A Very Valuable and Beautiful Freehold Property known as "Gadshill Place," for Many Years the Favorite Abode of Charles Dickens. London: T.W. Nicholson, 5 August 1870.
2o (434 x 275 mm). 8 pages text. Two colored lithographed views, two folding colored lithographed plans (the first folding plan slightly cropped at left border, some minor spotting.) 20th-century half vellum, original lithographed wrappers bound in (wrapper soiled and with a few repairs). Provenance: Comte Alain de Suzannet (bookplate; his sale Sotheby's, 22 November 1971, lot 148); Kenyon Starling.
THE VERY RARE AUCTION CATALOGUE OF GAD'S HILL PLACE. The sale was organized by the executors of Charles Dickens's estate, and was conducted some two months after his death in June. The sale consisted of two lots, the first being the residential property and the second being the enclosure of arable land. The description notes of the residential property that is was "Well described very recently as 'doubly historic, first, as the Scene of one of Shakespeare's most celebrated pieces of humour, and Secondly, as the abode of the greatest English Humourist who has lived since Shakespeare's time" (p.2). Gadshill was a minor character in Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part One, a professional highway robber and friend of Falstaff. While trying to rob a group of travelers, they are robbed themselves by Prince Hall at Gad's Hill. Dickens lived at Gad's Hill Place the last decade of his life, having admired the house on the hilltop between Gravesend and Rochester as a boy. His father told him that if he was ambitious and worked hard, he might one day live there. He purchased the house in 1856 for £1,790, moved there in 1860 and died there in 1870.