Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy’s Progress. By “Boz.” In Three Volumes.

Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy’s Progress. By “Boz.” In Three Volumes.
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London: Richard Bentley, 1838. 3 vols., 12mo, [i-vi, includes List of Illustrations], [1]-331, [332-336]; [i-iv], [1]-307, [308]; [i-iv], [1]-315, [316] pp. 24 engraved illustrations by George Cruikshank, 1 as frontispiece to each volume. Some imprints trimmed. With half-titles in vols. I and II; no half-title called for in vol. III. The single-leaf list of illustrations in vol. I found only in some copies is present in this set. Original light-brown fine-diaper cloth with central blindstamped arabesque design. Backstrips lettered in gilt and include the Bentley imprint at feet (Carter binding variant B). Bindings show some rubbing, sunfading and spotting, backstrips a bit sunfaded and discolored, the crowns unobtrusively reinforced. Edges untrimmed. Original pale-yellow endpapers, text with intermittent spotting -- the plates in vol. III with quite a bit more discoloration and spotting than in the remainder of the volumes. Very good. First edition, first issue, with the title page credited as Boz instead of Dickens and with the Fireside plate facing p. 312 in vol. III. Correct first state copies of Oliver Twist in their original cloth are scarce and a cornerstone in any Dickens collection. Publication of the serial in Bentley’s Miscellany began in 1837, and “when Bentley decided to publish Oliver Twist in book form before its completion in his periodical, Cruikshank was forced to complete the last few plates in haste. Dickens did not review them until the eve of publication and objected to the “Fireside” plate…and also disliked having “Boz” on the titlepage. He voiced these objections prior to the publication and the plate and the titlepage were changed between November 9 and 16” (Smith, 34). Page 164 in vol. III exists in two states: this copy in the first state with “pilaster” unchanged. The plates are here bound in to face pp. 29, 48, 98, 132, 152, 186, 248, and 302 in volume one; pp. 61, 130, 151, 196, 262, and 296 in volume two; and pp. 20, 30, 105, 165, 215, 296, and 312 in volume three. Smith 4; Eckel, pp. 59-62. Provenance: The Caroline Boeing Poole Collection, sold by Bernard M. Rosenthal in 1977 to the current consignor. (Item Id: 104944)

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