Hard Cover. London: Chapman & Hall, 1839. Very Good.
First edition, with "sister" and "letter" in the later corrected state, other points by Smith first state and uncorrected. Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"). Bound in contemporary three-quarter maroon morocco over grayish-red cloth, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers. A very good copy, rubbing and wear to spine ends and corners, cloth to covers a bit dulled; internally, generally clean and bright, usual foxing and toning to plates. Smith I, 5. Nicholas Nickleby is Dickens's third novel, which he began writing while Oliver Twist was still in progress. Characteristic of Dickens's work, Nicholas Nickleby is a whirlwind of social satire with a complex network of characters and plotlines. The book highlights the controversy that surrounded Yorkshire boarding schools in the 1830s as news stories brought to light the abuse and neglect that was common among these institutions, known for accepting unwanted children from parents who paid high prices to send them anywhere they could. Dickens's villain, Wackford Squeers, was based on Walter Shaw, the real-life headmaster of Bowes Academy, one of the schools reported for allowing rampant abuse of its pupils. The book has since been adapted for theater, television, and film and remains one of Dickens's most well-known works.