A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas.
Charles Dickens. London: Chapman & Hall, 1844 [but 1843]. Original brown publishers’ cloth.
First edition, first impression, Todd’s first issue. Rare state exhibiting the title-page printed in red and green with a date of 1844, yellow endpapers, “Stave I” as the first chapter heading, balance of text uncorrected.
Early printed copies of A Christmas Carol had the title-page in red and green before Dickens changed it to red and blue. Calhoun and Heaney surmised it was because the shade of green was “about as festive as a stale olive.” Published copies of the first edition, first issue, show both variants, probably due to the binding process.
Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress. By "Boz".
Charles Dickens. 3 vols. London: Richard Bentley, 1838. With 24 plates by George Cruikshank.
First edition, mixed issue. This copy has the title-pages from the first issue with the author’s name as ‘Boz’ (it was changed to Dickens in the second issue) and the later ‘Church’ plate, which replaced the ‘Fireside’ plate of the first issue.
Oliver Twist exemplifies Dickens’s use of the novel as an instrument for social reform. Through the misadventures of the impoverished orphan Oliver, Dickens criticized the exploitation of child labor in early Industrial England.
The Christmas Books: A Complete Set of First Editions.
Charles Dickens. London, 1843-1848.
A complete set of Dickens’s five Christmas books, all first editions, uniformly bound in red morocco, from the library of William E. Self (1921-2010). Original cloth covers laid down and bound in at the end of each volume.
The set includes: A Christmas Carol (1844, but 1843), The Chimes (1845, but 1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1846, but 1845), The Battle of Life: A Love Story (1846), and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain (1848).