First edition of this major novel by Dickens, a critical turning point in his career.
"What do you think of BLEAK HOUSE?' is a question which everybody has heard propounded [...] and which [...] formed, for its own season, as regular a portion of miscellaneous chat as 'How are you?'" – Illustrated London News, 24 September 1853
BLEAK HOUSE, published midway through Dickens's career, marks an important moment: not only was Dickens beginning to commit more profoundly to engaging with social issues in his novels, but the book's popular success vaulted him into sales numbers far beyond his contemporaries. It was the book everyone was talking about, and "many of the characters in the book were discoverable as having for their prototypes several of Dickens's friends" (Eckel). Its complexity and structure have long been admired, and it remains key to Dickens's reputation today.
Read more: Eckel, The first editions of the writings of Charles Dickens, 78; Podeschi, Dickens and Dickensiana. A catalogue of the Richard Gimbel Collection in the Yale University Library, A130.
London: Bradbury and Evans, 1853. Octavo. 8.75'' x 5.75''. Original blind-stamped olive cloth, gilt-lettered spine. Pale yellow coated endpapers, red speckled edges. Engraved frontispiece and engraved title page, followed by printed title page, and 38 further full-page engravings (40 total). xvi, 624 pages. Housed in custom quarter black cloth clamshell box with gilt leather spine label. 1854 owner stamp on front fly leaf. Text very clean, with the usual marginal foxing to engraved plates. Expert reinforcement to spine ends and hinges. Spine gently sunned, with one spot of discoloration on front board, else fresh with remarkably little wear.
Very good plus.
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