Thackeray, William Makepeace. Hard Cover. London: Chapman & Hall / Smith, Elder & Co., 1847. First Edition. Near Fine.
London: Chapman & Hall / Smith, Elder & Co., 1847; 1848; 1849; 1850; 1850; 1855. Six volumes. Illustrated by the author and by Richard Doyle (Rebecca and Rowena). First editions, first issues, with the original publisher's paper wrappers bound in at the rear of each volume. Finely bound by Rivière in tan polished calf with five raised bands to each spine, boards triple ruled in gilt, spine compartments decorated in gilt, dark green spine labels lettered in gilt, all text block edges gilt, dark blue coated endpapers. A near fine set with a touch of wear, hinges in all volumes but The Kickleburys slightly starting but all generally sturdy, Mrs. Perkins's Ball with some toning and superficial cracks in the leather to extremities, a bit of loss to the leather at spine head. Overall, a lovely set beautifully bound. These charming, attractively produced Christmas books were written by William Thackeray in the mid-19th century, intended to be bought and given as gifts during the Christmas holiday. The author's own illustrations serve to embellish the stories, adding humor to the short, often comical, Victorian tales. Though perhaps not as well known as the Christmas books published by his contemporary, Charles Dickens, Thackeray's books were also largely popular and sold well until a negative review for The Kickleburys (1850) prompted him to discontinue the series. It was not until five years later that he published the final installment in the series, The Rose and the Ring (1855). Though often left out of the collection because of its later publication date, the last of Thackeray's Christmas books is included here along with the first five.