2 April 2008
DICKENS, Charles. The Village Coquettes: A Comic Opera. In two Acts... the Music by John Hullah. London: Richard Bentley, 1836.
8o (225 x 142 mm). Original unbound sheets in five gatherings, uncut and unopened. (First and last leaves lightly browned and a bit spotted.); quarter green morocco gilt slipcase. Provenance: Leon Messenger (bookplate; his sale Parke-Bernet New York 5 October 1965, lot 47); Lewis A. Hird (bookplate; his sale Parke-Bernet New York, 17 November 1953, lot 152); Kenyon Starling (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. Originally issued in grey stiff paper wrappers on 22 December 1836 at a cost of two-shillings, too late for most of the opera's short run. Many years later when Bentley offered Dickens his remaining supply Dickens wrote Bentley a check for nine pounds for the backstock. Eckel records "the discovery in 1894 of nearly one hundred copies of the sheets which were about to be sent from a warehouse to be pulped. They were clean and unfolded." Eckel, pp. 157-158; Johnson, 151-154; Yale/Gimbel A25.
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