1853. London: Bradbury and Evans, October 1853 - August 1855.
8vo, 24 parts in 23, with etched titles, frontispieces, 44 etched plates, 43 wood-engraved vignettes, and 76 wood-engraved initials, all by Doyle; original yellow printed wrappers, three with early ownership names on uppers, all more or less worn at edges and heels, no.22 with loss to lower wrapper, plates uniformly aged. Text and plates complete and with the majority of the numerous bound ads observed by Van Duzen, only 8 ad leaves and one ad leaf corner definitively lacking. Enclosed in two faded but respectable blue morocco slipcases with titles stamped in gilt.
§ First edition, Thackeray’s novel exploration of the marriage market and the role of women in Victorian society, heightened by Richard Doyle’s best series of illustrations: “The attention of the novel’s initial readers no doubt centered on Doyle’s etchings, which made Colonel Newcome almost as familiar a personage as Phiz’s Mr. Pickwick or Cruikshank’s Fagin, but his wood-cut vignettes and above all his initial letters, in which his fancy gets full play, also have great charm.” —Ray, The Illustrator and the Book in England from 1790-1914, 144. Van Duzer 147. Item #110581