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Bleak House - DICKENS, Charles - 1853. 
London: Bradbury and Evans,, 1853. Octavo (215 Ã 136 mm). Contemporary half brown morocco, twin morocco labels to spine lettered gilt, marbled sides, marbled sides, edges and endpapers. Etched frontispiece, vignette title-page, and 38 plates (including the 10 "dark" plates) by "Phiz" ( H. K. Browne). Bookseller's ticket to front pastedown. A little wear to board edges, minor foxing to endleaves otherwise internally fresh. An excellent copy. First edition, with the first-issue textual points as listed by Smith. H. K. Browne had experimented with the "dark plate" technique in Dombey and Son (1848) but in Bleak House their sombreness added a new tone to the illustration of Dickens's books. "As Dickens's vision of society darkened, Browne adjusted his techniques, pioneering in the use of 'dark plates', where the plate was machine-ruled in parallel grooves which printed an almost uniform tone either before or after the figures and background were hand drawn. These brooding, atmospheric designs harmonized with the gloomy, foggy world of Bleak House and Little Dorrit" (Robert Patten in The Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens, 2011, p. 59).
[Bookseller: Peter Harrington]
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