Spotlight: Charles Dickens First Editions

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

St Mary’s Books has the privilege of selling some of the greatest literary works of all time in first edition!

Charles Dickens created some of the world’s best-known fictional characters, and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime; and by the 20th century, critics and scholars recognised him as a literary genius.

Here are some previews of our special first editions. More information, photographs and prices can be found on our website.

Great Expectations

A truly stunning first edition set. The first appearance of Great Expectations in book form. Originally it appeared it thirty-six weekly numbers of  ‘All the Year Round’. All first edition, first printings – no ‘edition’ mentioned on the title page. Limited to just 1000 copies of the true first issue. Beautifully bound by Riviere, in full polished calf. Gilt triple ruled borders to boards, red and green label bands to the spine. Five raised bands to the spine of each volume, with beautiful intricate gilt tooling to each section, gilt titles to the label band, and date to the bottom of each volume. Top edge gilt, fore edge and bottom edge untrimmed. Stunning elaborate gilt inner dentelles. Green endpapers, new prelims and last blank pages, otherwise entirely original. Original paper labels pasted in to an end page to each volume. A beautiful first edition set of one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time, a true collector’s edition.

Oliver Twist

A wonderful first edition, first issue set. Complete in three volumes. ‘Fireside’ plate opposite page 313 in Vol 3 as required. All volumes with ‘Boz’ as the author to the title page (later issues/editions had Charles Dickens). In the original ribbed cloth bindings, with gilt titles to the spine and arabesque cartouche to the boards. Contains 24 etched plates by George Cruikshank. An iconic scarce set, particularly as the first issue and in such nice condition.

Hard Times

For these times. First edition, first issue with 5/- shillings price to the base of the spine. Publishers original blind stamped green cloth binding with gilt titles. A good example, scarce in original cloth.

Little Dorrit

First edition, earliest issue, with publishers correction slip including to page 475. Rebound in half green leather, patterned decorative boards. Previous owner and ‘Time Team’ presenter James Robin Bush book plate! Decorative marbled endpapers. Newspaper cutting to rear pastedown. Attractive engraved frontispiece and half title, and full page plates through-out. Smart copy, scarce.

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