London: Bradbury & Evans, Whitefriars, MDCCCXLVI (1846). 8vo., [viii], [1-3], 4-175, , [1-2] pp., and the following internal pages unnumbered: 52-5, 120-3. In addition to the engraved frontis and titlepage there are 11 woodcuts in the text. Original publishers red ribbed cloth; both boards are stamped in blind with two double line borders interspersed with 12 floral designs, the upper boards is gilt-stamped with two cherubs mounted on wasps above a decorative spray, with title and authors name also stamped in gilt; backstrip also bears gilt-stamped lettering and wasp mounted cherubs; pale yellow endpapers, a.e.g. Some rubbing to head and tail of backstrip, corners slightly bumped, small chip to upper board at the “S” in “Dickens,” internally bright; very good. First edition. The present issue does not contain ‘A LOVE STORY’ in type below the title vignette and appears only in a scroll borne by a winged cupid, and there is no type insertion (4th state according to Smith and Eckel). Terminal ads announce the publication in parts of Dombey and Son, and the bound volume of Oliver Twist. All of Smith’s qualifying “internal flaws” not noted as being in “some copies” are accounted for.
Dickens wrote The Battle of Life during a period of recuperation needed after illness attributed to over-working, despite being seriously indisposed he managed to complete the work, while working on Dombey and Son, though it was not as successful as his other Christmas books thus far. Smith II, 8. Eckel 127-130. Item #108365