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Bleak House - Dickens, Charles - 1853. 
London: Bradbury & Evans, March 1852 - September 1853 - Illustrated with 40 plates by Hablot K. Browne ("Phiz"), including 10 "dark plates." First edition in the original 20 parts issued in 19 monthly installments (including one double issue), collated with Hatton and Cleaver, with the following exceptions: Part I with incorrect front wrapper and lacking the ads for Norton's Camomile Pills (4 pgs.), contains a superfluous Household Words slip; Part II with a second state Mott slip (H&C call for first state) and lacking "Notice of Removal" slip; Part IV with second state Household Words slip (H&C call for first state); Parts VII and VIII lacking Crochet Cotton slip; Part IX lacking Allsopp's ads (8 pgs.); Part X lacking "New Sporting Newspaper" and Crochet Cotton slip; Part XII with second state Household Words slip (H&C call for third state); Part XIII lacking Household Words slip; Part XV with incorrect rear wrapper, with second state Household Words slip (H&C call for sixth state), lacking "Village Pastor" ad (8 pgs.), with superfluous Clarke Beeton ads (8 pgs.); part XVI lacking "Grace Aguilar's Works" slip (8 pgs.), Part XVIII with incorrect rear wrapper, lacking page 7/8 of "Bleak House Advertiser," with second state Household Words slip (H&C call for fifth state), incorrect sate Mott ad, lacking "People's Edition" slip, lacking "Treasure of the Desert" slip; Part IX/XX with incorrect rear wrapper, includes a superfluous Household Words slip, includes superfluous Clarke Beeton ads (2 pgs.), lacking John Cassells ads (16 pgs.), lacking Samuel Warren slip, lacking Mott slip (2pgs). Each part in the original publisher's light blue cloth wrappers, with the front panels illustrated with a woodcut design by Browne. A very good set, with some wear and minor tears to the extremities, some short closed tears to the edges, minor losses to the spine ends, a few spines light starting at the spine ends, all spine sturdy and intact, light toning to the spines, a few light spots of soiling and creasing, toning and some scattered spotting to the plates, otherwise bright and clean pages. Part XIX/XX with some faint traces of hand coloring to the front wrapper, shallow loss to bottom edge of the rear wrapper, top edge torn with the wrapper begging to roll up. An attractive, unrestored set, scarce in any condition. Housed in a custom teal slipcase lettered in gilt, with matching chemise. Often regarded as one of Dickens' finest novels, Bleak House follows the long-running Court of Chancey case Jarndyce v. Jarndyce, a complicated lawsuit that involves almost every class of English society, and heavily criticizes the moral shortcomings of the British judicial system. With Bleak House, Browne continued his experimental use of dark plates, of which there are ten - a significant increase from the singular dark plates in his preceding two novels Dombey and Son and David Copperfield. Additionally, Browne continues the use of horizontal illustrations in Bleak House, another technique he began with Dombey, with almost half of the illustrations being in this layout. A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: B & B Rare Books, Ltd., ABAA]
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