London: Chapman and Hall, 1870. First Edition. Full calf. Octavo (20.8 x 13cm), pp. viii, 190, 14 illustrations including portrait frontispiece and vignette title-page, 2pp tipped in front wrapper of the original Part V of Edwin Drood, August 1870. Handsomely bound in full tan polished calf with five raised bands to the spine, tooled and gilt blocked panels, title panel in slightly darker tan and author panel in black leather, gilt lettered, double gilt borders on the boards, marbled endpapers, gilt dentelles, silk bookmark, bookplate of Leonard Daneham, Cunliffe. Some foxing, most apparent on pp 31-56. Plates are in very good order with just a hint of browning to the edges. A mostly clean copy in a fine binding. All first edition points as called for by Smith except in this instance there are no advertisements or Chapman and Hall catalogue (as per Carter A) and one of the original front wrappers has been bound in at the end (Smith 1:16). Item #799
Dickens began writing Edwin Drood in August 1869 but died ten months later on June 9, 1870. At the time of his death he had written six parts, three of which had been published. The solution of the plot was never disclosed leading Eckels to claim "Drood" as "one of the best unfinished mystery stories in literature" (Eckels, 1932, p. 96). The cover design (bound in at the back) was by Charles Alston Collins, Wilkie Collin's brother.
Leonard Daneham Cunliffe was a British banker who, together with his brothers, established the merchant bank Cunliffe Brothers in 1890.