DICKENS, Charles (1812-1870)--John FORSTER (1812-1876). The Life of Charles Dickens. London: Bradbury, Evans, and Co. for Chapman and Hall, 1872-1874.
3 volumes in 6, 8° inlaid to 4° (283 x 222mm). Half-titles to the first parts of volumes I, II and III. Titles in red and black, specially printed for each part of this copy. Engraved frontispieces by R. Graves and J.C. Armytage after Daniel Maclise, W.P. Frith and another, 4 engraved plates by C.H. Jeens and J. Saddler after Maclise and S.L. Fildes, manucript facsimile and woodcut illustrations. EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED with 107 manuscript items, including a series of 9 autograph letters by DICKENS and approximately 800 18th- and 19th-century drawings, items of printed ephemera, including handbills and wrappers from Dickens' works in parts, and engraved, aquatint, mezzotint, lithographic, albumen photographic, and woodcut prints by Hablot Knight Browne ['Phiz'], George Cruikshank, John Leech, F.W. Pailthorpe, Seymour, and others after various artists, some hand-coloured or proofs before letters. Early 20th-century crimson crushed morocco gilt by Bayntun, the upper covers with central gilt tools of Dickens' signature, all covers with panels of gilt rules and pointillé lines joined by foliate cornerpieces, the spines gilt in 6 compartments divided by raised bands, titled in 2 and dated at the foot, the others decorated with central foliate tools within frames, roll-tooled gilt turn-ins, top edges gilt (extremities lightly rubbed, some covers faded on the margins).
A VERY FINE COPY, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH A PROFUSION OF LETTERS AND PRINTS including 9 autograph letters signed to various correspondents, Devonshire Terrace, Tavistock House, Gad's Hill, office of All the Year Round, 1844-1869, discussing family and financial matters, considering a manuscript, refusing invitations, sending thanks and on other matters, together 9 pages, 8vo, autograph envelopes. The manuscript material also includes letters of friends and contemporaries of Dickens, of members of the Dickens family, and of others mentioned in the text, including GEORGE III (autograph letter signed to his son Frederick, Duke of York, Windsor, 13 June 1789, about a military appointment and manoeuvres, 1 page, 4to (worn at folds and soiled)), Benjamin DISRAELI (to Sir William Gallway, 29 May 1861, 'Lord Derby is very anxious, that the impending division should show the unity of the Conservative party', 4 pages, 4to), Washington IRVING (1843, requesting an article about 'the late campaign'), W.M. THACKERAY, John Ruskin, Lord Lytton (3), W.E. Gladstone, Robert Peel, Lord Palmerston, Henry Brougham, Giuseppe Mazzini, John Franklin, John Forster (2), Holman Hunt, Edward Landseer, J.E. Millais, Revd Sydney Smith, Thomas Moore, Charles Lyell, Richard Owen, George Henry Lewes, Mark Lemon, W.H. Wills, Daniel Maclise, William Macready and others. The additional printed material encompasses a similarly broad range, and includes portraits of Dickens at different ages (including an original pencil drawing of Dickens by F.W. Pailthorpe) and of the writers Hans Christian Andersen, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Wilkie Collins, George Sand, and W.M. Thackeray, Dickens' illustrators Hablot Knight Browne, George Cruikshank, and John Leech, and many historical, contemporary and fictional characters related to the biography. The other prints depict locations significant in Dickens' life and works, and include illustrations and title pages from his novels, and photographic facsimiles of the manuscripts. (6)