Hard Cover. London: Bradbury and Evans, 1846. First Edition. Near Fine.
Illustrated by Richard Doyle, John Leech and several others. First edition, fourth vignette title page. Finely bound in contemporary three-quarter tan calf over marbled boards, spine lettered and decorated in gilt, red speckled edges, brown endpapers. A near fine copy with some rubbing to the board edges and covers, early former owner bookplate to front pastedown. A very bright and attractive copy. The Battle of Life if the fourth book of five in Dickens' Christmas Books series and the only book to not have the religious or supernatural elements of the other books. Each novel in the Christmas Books series is marked by a strong moral and social message, the transformation of a hardened character to a more caring individual, and, of course, the holiday season. Unusual for Dickens, all of The Christmas Books were published first as novels without prior serial publication. Additionally, they are all illustrated in black and white, with the exception of A Christmas Carol, which contains plates with color illustrations.