Hard Cover. London: Chapman & Hall, 1837. First Edition. Fine.
Illustrated by R. Seymour and Hablot K. Browne (“Phiz”). First edition, first printing with “hodling” for “holding” on pg. 260 line 29, “S. Veller” uncorrected on pg. 342 line 5, and “F” in OF” imperfect on the headline of 432. Contemporary three-quarter brown calf with marbled boards, five raised bands to spine, titles and decorations in gilt to spine, green and red leather labels, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers. Very good with light edgewear, mild rubbing to boards, edges and spine lightly faded, tiny bump to fore edge of rear board, bit of fading to marbled edges, some spotting to pages, previous owner’s bookplate and tiny bookseller’s stamp to front pastedown. Overall, a pleasing copy. Smith 1, 3. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club was originally published serially in twenty numbers, bound in nineteen monthly installments from April 1836 - November 1837. This first edition was published shortly after on November 17, 1837. The project was originally conceived by illustrator Robert Seymour, who envisioned a series of humorous stories about the adventures of amateur Cockney sportsmen. Chapman and Hall employed Dickens to create a cohesive narrative that provided a background story for the illustrations. However, the bold young writer purportedly wrote with little regard to the illustrations, even making suggestions for their alterations at times, much to Seymour's displeasure. After the second installment was completed, Seymour committed suicide and was replaced in the Pickwick project by Robert Buss. However, Dickens found Buss' work unfavorable, and Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz"), who would continue to illustrate many of Dickens' subsequent novels, took over as the Pickwick illustrator. Smith comments on the complicated history of Pickwick's illustration: "The history of the creation of the plates is perhaps as complex as that of the printing of the text, and different states of a plate and different plates for the same subject may vary from one bound copy to another…seldom, in fact, are all of the plates located in copies in the original cloth or rebound ones," which he partially attributes to the lack of a list of illustrations. Item #CD147