First edition of the first printed book of Charles Dickens.
SKETCHES BY BOZ
"This was how he found his great subject, in crowd scenes, in streets, in the lives of people who are uniquely tied together, for better or worse, and who are part of the city which rises like an hallucination through these early sketches." – Peter Ackroyd
Charles Dickens first came to the attention of publisher John Macrone through a series of piquant "sketches" on London life the young author had published in THE MONTHLY MAGAZINE. Macrone formed the idea of pairing the clever scenes with illustrations by Cruikshank, with the result that this set appeared when Dickens was only 24. The idea was considered unconventional and something of a gamble, given the unknown author but, as Robert L. Patten observed, "the gamble had paid off handsomely." Even while sales struggled for his follow-up, PICKWICK PAPERS, Dickens maintained the momentum so necessary in an early career through the enthusiastic reception of this first book.
Read more: Ackroyd, Dickens, 169; Patten, Charles Dickens & His Publishers, 30; Eckel, The first editions of the writings of Charles Dickens, 15; Podeschi, Dickens and Dickensiana. A catalogue of the Richard Gimbel Collection in the Yale University Library, A1.
London: John Macrone, 1836. Two 12mo volumes. 7.25'' x 4.5'' each. Contemporary half green goatskin, olive green-pebbled cloth, double-ruled in blind, gilt-lettered spines. Blue endpapers, marbled edges. "Whiting" on verso of title page. Illustrated by Cruikshank with engraved frontispieces and 7 full-page plates in each volume (16 total). viii, 348; , 342 pages. Housed in custom quarter green goatskin clamshell box. Uniform light browning to text, with some marginal soiling; frontispieces with typical offsetting and toning around edges; bindings with minimal rubbing to extremities.
Very good plus.
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