Stone, Marcus. Soft Cover. London: Chapman and Hall, May 1864 - November 1865, 1864. First Edition. Very Good.
May 1864 - November 1865. First edition, complete in the original twenty installments, issued in nineteen monthly parts with 19 and 20 bound together. Publisher's green printed wrappers, publisher's ads bound in to front of each text block with additional ads inserted to rear, two black and white plates corresponding to each part, bound in preceding first page of each text block, with p. 13 of the ads in Part 10 misprinted as "31" (noted as uncommon by Hatton & Cleaver). A very good set, complete with 40 black and white plates in total, a few with tissue guards still intact; lacking a few of the ads (first three ads to rear of Part 3, one ad to rear of Part 5, one inserted slip to rear of Part 8, final ad in Part 17); Parts 19 and 20 bound in a wrapper with the incorrect price of 1s. (the first 18 parts were published with a price of 1s. and the 19th was published with a price of 2s.), and with the "19." and "5" in the first line of front wrapper handwritten in ink, lacking the publisher's ads but with ads usually following text inserted at front; all parts with wrappers variously worn, chipping to extremities, pages generally clean with some scattered spots and wear to edges, Part 3 split into two pieces at spine. Overall, a presentable copy of this classic work in its most original form. Hatton & Cleaver pp. 345-370. Originally published serially in the 20 installments and later in book form, Our Mutual Friend is the last novel Dickens completed in his lifetime, leaving his final novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870) incomplete. Our Mutual Friend remains popular among readers because of its compelling plot line, which examines the advantages and disadvantages of individual wealth. The story begins with John Harmon, the estranged son of a wealthy miser, who has inherited his father's money and, as a condition of his inheritance, arranged to marry Bella Wilfer. Instead of greeting his fortune, Harmon fakes his own death and watches from disguise as his father's wealth brings fortune and misfortune to various members of the community before revealing his true identity. In this classic novel, Dickens revisits many of the themes from his earlier works, including the corruptive power of money and the virtues of the hardworking poor.