London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. First Edition, First Printing. Octavo : pp. (6) viii (1, list of plates) (1, blank) (1) 2-254 : 16 plates by H.K. Browne (Phiz) including frontis and vignette title : pale green e.p.s : half leather over marbled boards : five raised bands and gilt lettering to spine.
Slight rubbing to boards; plates with occasional closed tears to edges, not affecting images; historical expert cleaning to some leaves; contemporary ownership signature. An exceptionally clean copy, handsomely bound. Near fine. Item #3923
First edition, first issue, bound from the parts, of Dickens' second historical novel. It has proved one of his most enduring works - a tale of self-sacrifice set against the backdrop of the French Revolution. This was the last of Dickens' books to be illustrated by H.K. Browne ("Phiz"), with 16 plates engraved by him. "Browne, for 23 years responsible for all the etchings which had so successfully embellished these [Dickens'] books, produced his last drawings for the present work...Bradbury and Evans, the printers of all and publishers of five of Dickens' works as issued in monthly parts, had ceased to act in this dual capacity after the completion of Little Dorrit...[resulting] in the return of Chapman and Hall as publishers of this and all succeeding works" (Hatton and Cleaver, 333).
Originally published as a serial in Dickens' weekly journal All the Year Round, issued in eight parts from June to December 1859. First issue, with page 213 misnumbered and the signature mark "b" on the List of Plates and all other first edition points as called for.
[Smith I:13; Hatton and Cleaver 333-42; Gimbel A143].