First edition, first state. Complete in one volume. Extremely rare in original cloth.
London: John Macrone, 1837. Illustrated with frontipiece, engraved title page and eight further illustrations by George Cruikshank.
Octavo, skillfully rebacked preserving original spine strip, original light burgundy coloured cloth, ruled and decorated in blind, spine with black gilt lettered medallion in upper part, pale yellow endpapers. Housed in a brown full morocco slipcase with cloth chemise (slightly rubbed). Spine and edges faded to brown (spine black and gilt bright), a few light stains on covers, slight residual paper on half title, some mottling to plates, else fine. Contemporary owner inscription in brown ink.
"Second Series" is one of the few early copies without the list of illustrations, with thirteen rather than seventeen lines on the first page of the Contents; legible commas on the "Free and Easy" imprint and with "Vol. III" un-erased from the foot of each plate.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is considered to be one of the greatest English novelists of the Victorian period. His works are characterized by attacks on social evils, injustice, and hypocrisy. Dickens's career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays appeared in periodicals. His Sketches By Boz and The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836. In the same year he married the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, Catherine
From the 1840s Dickens spent much time traveling and campaigning against many of the social evils of his time. In addition he gave talks and readings, wrote pamphlets, plays, and letters. In the 1850s Dickens was founding editor of Household Words and its successor All the Year Round (1859-70). In 1844-45 he lived in Italy, Switzerland and Paris. He gave lecturing tours in Britain and the United States in 1858-68. [Eckel, pp. 12-3. Sadleir 700 (Sadleir ranked this as the rarest of Dickens' titles; regardless of state). Smith I:2. Podeschi A4].